Monday morning just before 6am the call came that Oklahoma there was going to be a historic tornado event in Oklahoma. Beside Montgomery County Police Reporter I am also a videographer for several television outlets.
Arriving just after noon at the Severe Storm Prediction Center in Norman I decided to head out with several friends who are storm chasers to the Bartlesville area in Northern Oklahoma.
Just as we arrived there is when we had word Norman and Oklahoma City had been hit hard. We staged at Bartlesville and then started moving west on Highway 60. Equiped with radar screens, current weather, radios data equipment it was noted that almost 35 miles ahead of us a supercell was forming.
Almost halfway there we had word it was moving our direction and a tornado almost 1/2 mile wide was running the course of the road. Turning around we started eastbound and could see the tornado in the sideview mirror. Running almost 80 mph it seemed it was almost staying up with us.
Warnings were coming in to stay off highway 60 and if your on it find shelter. Around the next curve was the only shelter in sight. A bridge over a creek. Leaving my vehicle behind I climbed down the embankment. In Oklahoma it’s not a smooth embankment but one of boulders. I was able to get some shelter as the winds increased and you could see the rains moving in my direction. On my side of the bridge , the north side the trees started blowing and you could hear the winds increasing. For a moment I stood next to the bridge looking to the opposite side just in time to see one of the largest tornados moving almost in my direction. Taking a moment to shoot until the point it was difficult to breath and the winds were getting stronger.
I didn’t see it again but watched several outflows just in front of me and then the hail started.
Within five minutes it was mostly over. The truck a few hail dents from the pea size hail unlike the grapefruit size that was reported near Norman.
It wasn’t hard to find damage. In Cromwell the fire chiefs brother was driving their tanker back to the station after the storm when the winds picked up again.
the next thing he knew was the roof across the street flew off and into the fire truck breaking the exhaust stack and driving a 2×4 between the lightbar and cab.
In town city hall was without a roof as were many homes.
Not far from there more homes. All with stories and heavy damage.
WATCH THE VIDEOS:
CLICK THE ARROW TO VIEW THE TORNADO CHASE:
CLICK THE ARROW TO VIEW THE TORNADO AFTERMATH: