National Weather Service surveys storm damage; 2 tornadoes confirmed across Oklahoma

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LUTHER, Okla. – After severe storms caused damage across central Oklahoma on Tuesday, crews from the National Weather Service were trying to learn more about those storms on Wednesday morning.

One home in Luther took the brunt of the storm that passed through that area.

A large portion of the roof was ripped off, scattering pieces of it in the field around the home.

A NewsChannel 4 crew was there when National Weather Service officials showed up to assess the damage.

“We saw some debris in the road and wondered about that, and then we turned and saw our house,” said Tony Rumple, the homeowner.

Rumple said he and his family saw the destruction just moments after leaving a neighbor’s basement.

But, it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that he could see the full view of their heavily damaged home.

“It’s pretty extensive damage,” he said.

While at Rumple’s home, the National Weather Service walked the property to look for signs of a tornado.

“It’s like detective work, trying to figure out what happened,” said Rick Smith with the National Weather Service.

“We saw on the weather that it was getting closer, so we got in our safe room. About the time we closed our safe room door, that’s when we heard the loud boom,” said Ladonna Gutierrez.

Down the road, Gutierrez also had heavy damage to her horse barn.

The storm threw a tree on a trailer and her fence and roof were battered.

The National Weather Service was out looking at it all to determine what happened.

“This was kind of a unique event in that it looks like we had a wide swath of straight line wind damage but embedded in that were smaller circulations or tornadoes,” Smith said.

Crews look at the direction of debris and how the trees came to rest.

Then, they combine that with data from the storm to determine a tornado rating.

At Rumple’s home, the National Weather Service determined it was hit by an EF-1 tornado.

“I hate to call it a weak tornado, because it wasn’t weak when it does this to your home, but relatively weak compared to what we see in Oklahoma. We’re very fortunate it wasn’t any stronger than this,” Smith said.

It’s a lot for Rumple’s family to deal with, but they’re just glad they all made it through without a scratch.

“As bad as the damage was to our house last night, we were all just grateful that the family was okay, that nobody got hurt,” Rumple said.

There were also other storm surveyors out on Wednesday, as well.

A group from out-of-state was in town looking at the damage and trying to make the rating system used by the weather service more precise.

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