Storm heavily damages apartment complex in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Ricki Smith said she wasn’t expecting Monday night’s storm to be so intense.

“We heard this gigantic boom, sounded like a bomb. And, my sister was like ‘Are ya’ll okay?’” Smith said.

A piece of plywood had wedged itself into the side of Smith’s apartment at the Esperanza Apartment Complex at I-240 and Blackwelder.

It hit the building with such force it actually broke into Smith’s kitchen, scattering insulation everywhere and leaving a hole in her kitchen wall.

“You can basically look outside from in there,” Smith said.

Tuesday morning, debris lay scattered everywhere outside, as well.

The roof of two different buildings was peeled back, and the pieces of wood went flying.

Cars in the parking lot didn’t fare much better.

Some literally had holes ripped in the sides.

The back window of one of Smith’s vehicles was busted out, and her other one was scraped up, as well.

“The noise was really bad. My daughter was really scared,” said Liliana Velarosa.

The ceiling in Velarosa’s apartment caved in, and she thought it was much more than just a thunderstorm.

“He just tell me ‘Go to the restroom. Go to the restroom. It’s a tornado. Go. Go to the restroom,’” Velarosa said her husband told her.

And, Smith said the damage reminds her of just that.

“It looked like a tornado hit it,” she said. “I mean, things were in people’s cars, hanging out, just debris everywhere.”

Eight different apartments had to be evacuated.

“Evacuated the whole building, and told everybody they had somewhere else to go for the night, because a lot of roofs were being damaged,” said resident Marcos Ramirez, who had to spend the night at his sister’s house.

The Red Cross was on hand Tuesday morning to assist residents, and a representative with the apartment complex said they were working on moving some of the displaced residents to other apartments.


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