Severe weather takes families’ Memorial Day weekend plans by storm at Turner Falls Park

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DAVIS, Okla. -  Severe storms were in the forecast over the holiday weekend, dampening a lot of people’s Memorial Day.

Turner Falls Park in Davis was forced to close most of Sunday.

“I used to come here when I was a kid actually. It's just really a nice place to come. I love it,” said Sherry Wallace.

Tuner Falls Park is a tradition for the Wallace family. Therefore, they planned this holiday weekend to make the two and half hour trip from Paris, Texas.
But, the weekend weather had different plans.

“Actually, we thought about coming Friday, and we decided to watch the weather,” Wallace said.

It's a good thing Wallace kept an eye to the sky.

Severe weather came rolling in Saturday night. This is just one day after park staff cleaned up from floods the week before, which closed the park for four days.

“When we had severe thunderstorm warnings, police officers went around the park warning all of our occupants that there were chances of severe storms later on in the afternoon,” said Billy Standifer, park manager.

Strong winds, lightening, thunder and lots of rain came pouring down on campers.

About an hour later, tornado warnings sounded as a tornado touched down not too far, just southwest of the park in Ringling.

“Majority of people did leave the park, although we did have somewhere between 2-300 that chose to stay,” Standifer said.

Those who chose to stay used bathhouses as shelter.

“There was a few tents that were blown over, and a few tore up. Other than that, absolutely no damage,” Standifer said.

But, as a precaution, they were forced to close Sunday morning and afternoon.

“Most of it was just high water. The water crossings just weren't safe for vehicles,” Standifer said.

The park reopened Sunday night. Wallace is just happy her whole weekend wasn't a complete washout.

“I kind of figured the water would settle down by today and maybe we could get the tickets before they were sold out again,” she said.

The park was sold out Monday. Staff urges people to check their website or social media for any weather updates in the future.