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Weather and Climate
Deadly tornados tore through several Oklahoma communities on May 19, 20 and 31, 2013. These are the stories of natural disaster and its aftermath, and of communities healing and recovering.

Officials Assess Damage After Elk City Tornado

The supercell that produced the damaging tornado at Elk City Tuesday evening.
Jeff Piotrowski
The supercell that produced the damaging tornado at Elk City Tuesday evening.

Officials in Oklahoma are assessing damage after tornadoes hit the Western part of the state Tuesday evening.

One tornado touched down in Elk City in Beckham County, injuring at least 10 people and killing one.


Elk City Police Chief Eddie Holland estimated the storm severely damaged more than 75 homes.

“[Lots of houses] are missing roofs, [there’s] severe damage to almost all of them,” Holland said.

Holland said power lines are down and power companies are working to restore power to residents.

The National Weather Service in Norman has not yet released information about the strength of the tornado, but tweeted early Wednesday that it will be surveying the damage.

Oklahoma’s News9 reported the tornado could have been an EF-2 or EF-3, and said early estimates tracked the tornado’s path as about a quarter of a mile wide.

The Elk City tornado passed within about 1 mile of the Mesonet weather station site, which measured a 74 mph wind gust as it passed, according to a Mesonet tweet late Tuesday.


Police are encouraging displaced residents to seek shelter at the city’s First Baptist Church.

A spokesman for the National Weather Service said Northwest Oklahoma could see more severe storms Thursday.

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