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Tornado leaves path of destruction in Seminole

Damage left behind from a tornado that struck Seminole May 4, 2022
KOCO 5 News
Damage left behind after a tornado struck Seminole on May 4, 2022.

The town of Seminole — about 50 miles southeast Oklahoma City — was hit by tornadoes for the second time this week.

Dramatic television coverage showed the Seminole area storm’s formation and the destruction it caused in real time. Mobile offices were tossed, buildings damaged, windows blown out, and roofs ripped off as a multi-vortex tornado moved directly over Seminole, one of several tornadoes to touch down in the state.

Power was out in the community immediately after the storm, and emergency crews were assessing damage and making sure no one was trapped in rubble and debris, plenty of which was scattered across the area. As of early Thursday, there were no official reports of injuries.

Overnight, concern shifted from tornadic storms to significant flooding.

Schools cancel classes after sustaining heavy damage from tornado

Two schools in Seminole received heavy damage from the tornado that ripped through town Wednesday evening.

A charter school in town took a “direct hit from the tornado” and the city’s middle school gym had its roof damaged in the storm.

The Academy of Seminole announced in a Facebook post that school was canceled. There had been people at the school at the time, but they were able to shelter safely and nobody was injured.

“Please do not come to the school: it is extremely dangerous,” the school said in its announcement. “We will begin organizing volunteer efforts and will be reaching out to families to see how we can help one another. We will continue to post updates as we are able.”

Seminole Public Schools canceled classes Thursday because much of the city was without power.

As long as electricity is restored, superintendent Bob Gragg wrote in an email that school should resume next Monday.

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Logan Layden is a reporter and managing editor for StateImpact Oklahoma. Logan spent six years as a reporter with StateImpact from 2011 to 2017.
Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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