Winds of 80 to 100 mph were part of a strong series of thunderstorms that raced across southern Oklahoma early Wednesday morning, blowing over semi-trucks on I-35, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving thousands without electrical power.
A reported five semi-trucks were blown off the Interstate at Pauls Valley, leaving one of the drivers with minor injuries. Trees were downed in the city and power was lost for customers of PSO, OGE and rural cooperatives.
Along with tree debris, including some big ones uprooted and on their side, another common sight Wednesday were crews all over town working to get electric power back on for local homes and businesses.
Early in the morning, Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported up to 4,445 customers without power and more than 1,000 were in Comanche County.
Public Service Company stated that at one time it had 15,472 customers affected and nearly 6,700 were in Ada while 4,500 lived in Pauls Valley. Others were in Maysville, Rosedale, Elmore City, Byng, Byars, Stratford and Davis.
“The first thunderstorm warning was issued at 1:35 a.m.” said Pontotoc County Emergency Management Director Chad Letellier told the Ada Evening News. “The storms were moving at 55 to 60 miles per hour, which is a sign of potentially high straight-line winds. The storms produced gusts of 70-80 mph winds.”
Damage was also reported in Konawa where trees were uprooted and some crashed onto homes. But no injuries were reported.