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Catastrophic damage, at least 4 fatalities after severe tornado outbreak hits Oklahoma

sulphur oklahoma tornado damage april 27 2024 lsm

A severe tornado outbreak on Saturday, April 27, 2024, has resulted in the deaths of at least four individuals and inflicted significant destruction across several cities in Oklahoma, marking one of the most destructive days in the state’s recent history.

The NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) received 39 tornado reports on April 27, down from 86 on April 26. 18 were reported in Oklahoma, 14 in Kansas, 5 in Missouri, and 2 in Texas. On April 26, 38 tornadoes were reported in Iowa, 33 in Nebraska, 6 in Texas, 5 in Kansas, and 4 in Missouri.

A series of tornadoes began to unfold across several states on April 27, impacting communities with varying degrees of damage. The first report came at 18:21 UTC from Hillsdale, Garfield County, Oklahoma, where buildings and trees were damaged. Shortly thereafter, at 18:55, a tornado was reported approximately 5 km (3 miles) northwest of Robinson in Brown, Kansas.

At 19:09 UTC, another tornado touched down approximately 13 km (8 miles) north of Robinson, Kansas. Only six minutes later, another tornado touched down roughly 3 km (2 miles) west-southwest of White Cloud in Doniphan, Kansas. By 19:47, a tornado was reported by emergency management approximately 6 km (4 miles) northwest of Goff in Nemaha, Kansas. The reports continued in Texas where, at 20:06, a tornado was spotted roughly 5 km (3 miles) west of Knox City at the intersection of FM 222 and 1292.

The intensity and frequency of tornado occurrences increased thereafter. At 20:27, another tornado struck approximately 10 km (6 miles) southwest of Morrison in Payne, Oklahoma, closely followed by a small tornado about 5 km (3 miles) south-southwest of Dexter in Cowley, Kansas at 20:31. The pattern of severe weather continued moving northeast, with a notable sighting at 21:08 near Seymour in Baylor, Texas, which began about 10 – 13 km (6 – 8 miles) west of Seymour and roped out near Lake Kemp.

At 21:13, significant structural damage occurred approximately 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Gentry in Gentry County, Missouri where a metal roof was torn off a residence, and large debris was reported. Just a few minutes later at 21:19, the Missouri Highway Police reported another tornado crossing Highway 169 near Gentry. Damage was reported about 6 km (4 miles) north-northwest of Calumet in Canadian, Oklahoma at 21:30 and a landspout causing damage 16 km (10 miles) north of Kendall in Hamilton, Kansas at 21:35.

Multiple brief tornadoes were spotted just south of Moline in Elk, Kansas at 21:42, around the same time a wedge tornado was reported near Howard. By 21:54, another tornado was sighted approximately 2 km (1 mile) northwest of Longton in Elk, Kansas. The reports of brief tornado touchdowns continued with one approximately 5 km (3 miles) northeast of Fredonia in Wilson, Kansas at 22:35, and another 8 km (5 miles) east-northeast of Benedict in Wilson, Kansas at 22:56.

At 23:40, a brief tornado touchdown occurred approximately 3 km (2 miles) east of Laclede in Linn, Missouri, followed by a visual report of a cone tornado approximately 3 km (2 miles) south of Devol in Cotton, Oklahoma at 23:54. As the UTC day turned, tornadoes continued to be reported, including two near Cole in McClain, Oklahoma at 01:20 and 02:20 UTC, showing clear tornado debris signatures on radar.

Damage assessments revealed extensive impacts in several areas, particularly in Marietta, Love, Oklahoma, where extensive damage to buildings and trees was reported at 04:10 UTC.

This sequence of events demonstrated the widespread and severe nature of this tornado outbreak, affecting numerous communities across the central United States. The reports concluded with additional radar observations near Morris in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and Porter in Wagoner, Oklahoma, indicating the prolonged and severe nature of this meteorological event.

At least two fatalities were confirmed in Holdenville, Oklahoma including an infant, with additional deaths reported in Marietta and Sulphur, bringing the total number of casualties in the state to four.

“It seems like every business downtown has been destroyed now here in Sulphur,” Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt told reporters, highlighting the extensive impact on the community, particularly in Sulphur where the damage was reminiscent of an EF-3 tornado. “It’s definitely the most damage since I’ve been governor that I’ve seen.”

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The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) reported that 14 homes were either damaged or destroyed in Holdenville alone, with significant debris blocking Highway 9. Emergency response teams, including the Oklahoma City Task Force One, were deployed to the affected areas to aid in search and rescue efforts.

Significant structural damage was also recorded in Marietta, affecting the local hospital and other infrastructure. Despite the chaos, no injuries were reported from within the hospital as patients and staff had taken appropriate shelter. The storms forced the closure of Interstate 35 North at the Texas state line, complicating rescue and recovery operations. The Marietta tornado was rated at least EF-3.

In Sulphur, Murray County Emergency Management noted extensive damage and multiple injuries. The response was further compounded by severe weather conditions continuing across the region, with approximately 43 000 utility customers losing power initially, though numbers dropped to below 10 000 by Sunday evening, April 28.

Governor Stitt declared a state of emergency in Carter, Cotton, Garfield, Hughes, Kay, Lincoln, Love, Murray, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Payne, and Pontotoc counties. The declaration aims to mobilize resources to address the immediate needs of the affected communities and begin the recovery and rebuilding process.

The death toll from the dayslong tornado outbreak that has ravaged the central U.S. stands at five, as of early April 29. Among the victims was an Iowa man who died after a tornado struck the town of Minden on Friday. He was trapped in his basement when a massive twister ripped through the area, approximately 48 km (30 miles) northeast of Omaha, Nebraska. Despite being rushed to a hospital for treatment, he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.

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The National Weather Service forecasts persistent severe weather conditions across the central United States, with the potential for additional strong to severe thunderstorms. The unsettled weather pattern is expected to affect a broad swath of the Great Plains through the coming days, posing ongoing risks to the already battered regions.

Monday, April 29 is anticipated to bring the highest threat of severe weather and heavy rain to the central Gulf Coast region, particularly Louisiana, with risks extending into the Tennessee Valley. The weather system is expected to bring varied conditions across the country, from potential wet snow in the northern Plains to significantly warmer temperatures along the East Coast.


1 SPC filtered reports for April 26 and 27, 2024

2 At least 4 dead after Oklahoma tornadoes cause catastrophic damage – FOX Weather – April 28, 2024

3 Short Range Forecast Discussion – NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD 400 PM EDT – Sun Apr 28 2024

4 Destructive tornado outbreak strikes Nebraska and Iowa, EF2 – EF5 tornado threat continues into Sunday, U.S. – The Watchers – April 27, 2024


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One Comment

  1. The super active Sun and the weakening of Earth’s magnetic field are the root causes of all the current extreme weather and climate events around the globe. But, of course, the myth-makers are shoving down our throats their pseudoscience theory, in order to keep us in the dark and be able to confiscate our financial resources.

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