Claremore Daily Progress

September 7, 2012

Winds rip roof off, down trees crash Bluegrass Chili Festival tents

Randy Cowling
Editor

CLAREMORE — Just before 4 p.m. Friday a powerful storm front blew through Claremore leaving at least one roof stripped and numerous trees downed, in addition to crashing tents at the Bluegrass and Chili Festival at the Claremore Expo Center.

No injuries were reported. Winds were strong ahead of a cold front that weather forecaster predict will bring cooler temperatures and rain.

Alvin Pate was standing outside of a house on 7th Street when the front came through.

"We were standing out talking. It spun up right there and looked like it was in the school yard. It swirled up and all of a sudden it hit," Pate said.

"It took like three seconds. Then it was gone."

The downburst of wind stripped the roof of the house and send it sailing across the street into a neighbor's backyard.

"I heard it roaring. When Keith ran in he said it was a tornado I hear it roaring," said Debbie Andrews, who lives on 8th Street, two houses down from the house that suffered the damage.

Chet Hunter was outside after the burst passed through with his chainsaw cleaning up parts of a tree.

Several trees were knocked down at Heritage Hills Golf Course. The roof on the back side of the clubhouse was stripped bare.

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Bob Anderson confirmed a microburst passed through Claremore Friday afternoon, leaving downed limbs and various damages and power outtages in its wake.

“Around 4 p.m., the lead end of the cold front was pushing its way through town,” Anderson said. “As it was doing so, we experienced intense winds which are known to accompany this phenomena (microburst), with minor damage spread across the city — basically things ‘not nailed down’ were affected, but we’re getting word in about limbs being knocked down and some larger damages.”

Although Anderson was not sure about the intensity of the winds in the actual microbursts, which are capable of generating short, intense burts of wind greater than 75 mph. He estimated the winds in town averaging excess of 50 mph. 

Two stretches of the Will Rogers Turnpike in Ottawa County have lane closures due to several overturned semi trucks. Eastbound lanes and one westbound lane of the Will Rogers Turnpike northeast of Miami (mile marker 306) in Ottawa County are closed. Westbound lanes are closed from mile marker 315 to 316 in Ottawa County are closed as well.wo stretches of the Will Rogers Turnpike in Ottawa County have lane closures due to several overturned semi trucks. Eastbound lanes and one westbound lane of the Will Rogers Turnpike northeast of Miami (mile marker 306) in Ottawa County are closed. Westbound lanes are closed from mile marker 315 to 316 in Ottawa County are closed as well.