Despite it being a common and expected occurrence in the month of May, severe spring thunderstorms still have a way of catching residents off the guard, even in the heart of tornado alley.
Tuesday’s severe storms caused significant damage in Grady County in central Oklahoma. The worst damage was in Chickasha, as downed trees and power lines were scattered across roads as a line of strong thunderstorms moved through the area during the middle of the day. The most stunning visual was a toppled church steeple and substantial roof damage at Southern Hills Baptist Church, located at 2501 W Country Club Road. The Rev. Kent Hibbard was grateful that nobody was injured in the collapse and said that the church has the insurance coverage necessary to cover the damage. Hibbard said the church plans to use the steeple in a flower garden, rather than attempting to secure it back on top of the church.
An awning was lost at the Conoco on Highway 19 and there was also significant flash flooding througout the town. The area near Country Club Road and Sooner Road saw five downed electrical transmission lines. Damage was also reported in nearby Ninnekah and Alex. There were no injuries reported as a result of this fast-moving storm.
Oklahoma was just one of many states ravaged by severe storms on Tuesday. Five people were killed in the Northeastern United States and nearly 500,000 people are without power after severe weather ravaged parts of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. An 11-year-old girl died when she was struck by a falling tree in Newburgh, New York Her mother was also injured in the incident. Falling trees were also to blame for the death of a man in Danbury, Connecticut and a man in the Poconos.