SEMINOLE, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma community is coming together to heal after a devastating tornado caused extensive damage throughout the town on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday evening, meteorologists began tracking a large supercell.
The storm eventually evolved into a tornado that touched down in Pottawatomie County before it made its way to Seminole.
Shortly before 7 p.m., tornado sirens sounded and alerted residents in Seminole to get to their safe spots.
As the tornado moved through the area, it caused significant damage to homes and businesses in the town.
Roofs were torn from buildings, power lines were down across the town, windows were blown out, and some buildings were destroyed.
On Thursday morning, residents and business owners were able to get the first glimpse of the damage.
Officials say they will begin cleanup as soon as possible, but say most of the community is still without power.
City leaders say structural engineers will soon be assessing the damage to the buildings in downtown Seminole to make sure they are safe.
Officials say there is one area in downtown that is blocked off due to a natural gas leak.
Seminole City Manager Steve Saxon has been with the city for 24 years, and says he has never seen damage like this before.
“We’re like 90 percent of Oklahoma communities and believe that there is something that is going to protect us from that day. And here we are. It can happen to you and we’re experiencing it firsthand,” said Saxon.
When asked what goes through his mind when driving through downtown Seminole now, Saxon began to tear up.
“Heartbreak. But we’re tough. We’re the heart of the oil field and we’re where your blue jeans come from. We’re tough. We’ll get there,” said Saxon.
Fortunately, there have been no deaths or serious injuries reported as a result of the storms.