Tornado Strikes Tulsa; Injuries, Damage Reported
A tornado hit Tulsa, Oklahoma on Wednesday evening, producing initial reports of significant damage and several injuries.
The twister touched down just after 7pm CDT just north of the city of about 400,000 people, reportedly causing damage to the nearby suburbs of Catoosa, Claremore and Owasso and part of North Tulsa itself. The tornado made a close pass to Tulsa International Airport on the northeast side of the metro area (see photo), although no damage was reported at the airport itself.
Oklahoma ambulance company EMSA reported that they had treated transported nine patients due to the weather on Wednesday night, including one critical injury, although the Tulsa World reported six injuries.
As of late Wednesday evening, over 5,800 customers were without power in and around Tulsa, according to the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.
The city activated its Emergency Operation Center on Wednesday night, and numerous road closures were reported on the north side of the city as well.
The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Tulsa is expected to survey the damage and rate the tornado on Thursday.
A broad storm system producing mostly damaging winds and hail is responsible for the severe weather outbreak behind the Tulsa tornado, with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) listing at least 96 severe weather reports as of late Wednesday evening.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this developing story.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Cover photo: @StanleyHedges