SEMINOLE, Okla. (KFOR) – The President of Seminole State College of Oklahoma announced Thursday that the Spring 2022 commencement exercises are canceled after extensive damage was reported across town following tornado-warned storms Wednesday evening.

President Lana Reynolds sent a letter to students, faculty, and staff Thursday relaying the news about the ceremonies scheduled for Friday.

Due to the unfortunate circumstances caused by last night’s tornado in Seminole, the potential for intermittent loss of power to our campus, and general safety issues, our 2022 SSC Commencement Exercises scheduled for tomorrow have been canceled.

Our campus will continue to be utilized as a shelter for the American Red Cross and a staging area for OGE and others involved in power restoration efforts. We are being told that Seminole is facing a multi-day restoration process.

We are disappointed that we cannot hold our commencement exercises, but are extremely proud of each of our graduates.

Please continue to keep those affected by this disaster in your thoughts and prayers.

Lana Reynolds
Seminole State College

The Red Cross opened a shelter at the Kelly Haney Center at Seminole State College shortly after the tornado touched down in Seminole.

Officials say 15 people stayed at the shelter overnight, but they expect that number to grow on Thursday as it becomes safer for residents to travel.

The City of Seminole is organizing volunteers to help with various disaster relief efforts throughout the community. Any one interested can meet with officials inside the Haney Center Lecture Hall on the SSC campus.

OG&E crews are also still working to restore power to thousands of customers in the area.

Seminole County has 3,227 customers, 31 percent of the Seminole community, still without power, according to OG&E’s outage map.

Anyone in need of assistance should call 1-800-RED-CROSS.