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PM NewsBrief: May 3, 2024

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for May 3, 2024.

Remembering 1999 Historic, Tragic Tornado Outbreak

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak that swept across Oklahoma. It was on this day, May 3, 1999, when tragedy struck.

"Look at all the debris in the air! Folks please. We plead with you. You absolutely have got to get down. Get to the lowest level you can," said KFOR-TV Meteorologist Mike Morgan.

Some of the strongest winds ever recorded on earth occurred 25 years ago when a large and violent tornado plowed through the OKC suburbs of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Moore, Midwest City, and Del City.

The outbreak killed 46 people and left hundreds of people with injuries.

It was the first time the National Weather Service used the term “tornado emergency”.

Ty Mahan was born on that tragic day and he’s now a storm chaser.

"I’d like to think that it certainly helped push me into convective weather. It’s definitely something to look back on and there's lessons to be learned from it," Mahan said.

The Moore tornado was one of 58 twisters that tore through the region that day causing over $1 billion worth of damage.

Rural Residents Urged to Monitor Livestock and Water Quality After Tornadoes

The aftermath of this past week's tornadoes can impact livestock.

Oklahoma State University Extension Service experts are urging farmers and ranchers to remove any debris in pastures and yards.

Livestock can unknowingly pick up tornado debris like small pieces of wood and metal while grazing in fields and pens.

David Lalman is a beef cattle extension specialist. He says debris can cause Hardware Disease, which is when a sharp object hurts animals internally or messes with their digestive system.

"Removing as much of that material from the pasture or field as possible is the most practical thing, if possible. And the other thing is to make sure the animals have adequate nutritional, supply or forage available," Lalman said.

He says producers should monitor their animals for signs of pain and low appetite - and if symptoms are present, call a veterinarian.

Floods can also contaminate water supplies for people impacted by storms.

Extension specialists say if you depend on a private well for water, you should have it tested. And if you’re under a boil advisory, you should follow it.

Oklahoma Looking to “Lock The Clock”

If you enjoy an extra hour of sunshine in the evenings, Oklahoma’s elected officials have good news.

A new state law could pave the way for permanent Daylight Saving Time.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed SB 1200, a so-called “trigger law” to keep the clocks permanently on Daylight Saving Time—that is, if Congress allows it.

Polls show that many Americans are sick of changing their clocks twice a year.

The bill’s author, Senator Blake Stephens, has long championed moving to DST for good.

“There’s a truckload of-of benefits for locking the clock on daylight saving time,” Stephens said.

But not everyone is convinced. Representative Kevin West unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill to adopt Standard Time.

He points out the country already adopted permanent Daylight Saving Time in 1974 before quickly reversing course.

“Everybody loved it until we got to winter time,” West said.

Oklahoma Native Artist Norma Howard Died

Chickasaw-Choctaw artist Norma Howard died this week at the age of 65.

As a little girl in Stigler, Oklahoma, Norma learned how to draw with the unwavering support of her parents, recreating the toys her classmates had that her family couldn’t afford.

When Norma started a family of her own, it was her husband David who encouraged her to enter the Red Earth Show in Oklahoma City in 1995.

“I was sitting there, and I was looking, and I was thinking…boy, wouldn’t it be good if they called my name?” Howard said in a previously recorded interview.

“They said first place, and they said ‘Norma Howard’...and it was just surreal.”

That was the kickstart for Norma’s artistic career.

The award-winning artist is known for her unique watercolor paintings that embody nostalgia by showcasing everyday life through a Native lens.

Norma was represented by the Blue Rain Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where many of her illustrations can be seen today.

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