Oklahomans dealing with tornadoes, flooding as severe storms move across the state

OKEMAH, Okla. – May is often synonymous with severe weather, and residents across the state were hit with severe storms for a second time in three days.

Around 3:30 p.m. on May 22, storms began firing in southwestern Oklahoma and quickly turned severe.

A short time later, other storms with heavy rainfall, large hail and damaging winds formed in central Oklahoma.

Several tornado warnings were issued for counties across central Oklahoma, but one storm, in particular, proved to be extremely dangerous.

As a storm moved through the town of Okemah, a funnel cloud quickly developed.

A tornado forming near Okemah

It didn’t take long for the funnel to reach the ground and turn into a large tornado.

Tornado touches down in Okemah

A large debris cloud could be seen with the tornado, and storm chasers reported seeing damage to power poles, trees and a barn.

The tornado was on the ground for several minutes as it began heading toward Okmulgee. However, it appeared to lift before reaching the next town.

 

Tornado touches down in Okemah

While some residents were seeking shelter from the tornado, others across the state were dealing with large hail and flooding.

The National Weather Service warned that flooding was a major concern for communities in Logan, Kingfisher, Garfield and Noble counties.

At the same time, Oklahoma City officials warned that people along Air Depot Road between Hefner Rd. and NE 115th St. should take flooding precautions because of a possible dam failure.

City leaders in Webbers Falls also warned residents that they needed to evacuate their homes immediately.

“Residents in the Town of Webbers Falls need to evacuate immediately. This is a life-threatening situation. If you choose to stay you are doing so at your own risk. If you choose to stay we advise you write your name and personal information on your arm in permanent marker. Please be safe!”

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