Severe storm leaves downed trees, power outages in its wake
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Thursday, July 19, 2012
7/19/12 at 10:00 PM
Downed trees and scattered power outages were reported in the wake of severe thunderstorms that moved through the Tulsa area on Thursday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sellers said the damage likely was caused by “downburst” winds measuring between 60 and 70 miles per hour. At various times, severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect for all or parts of several counties, including Tulsa, Wagoner, Okmulgee, Nowata and Muskogee, he said.
Sellers said trees were reported down in various areas, including Harvard Avenue between 121st and 131st streets, in the 145th Street and Yale Avenue vicinity, and east of Broken Arrow High School near the Wagoner County line.
AEP-PSO spokeswoman Andrea Chancellor said about 1,600 customers were without electrical service due to the storm as of shortly before 10 p.m.
Chancellor said the majority of those customers should have power restored by about 3 a.m. Friday and that, hopefully, all will have service restored by about 8 a.m. Friday.
The westbound lanes of 71st Street between Memorial Drive and Mingo Road were temporarily closed on Thursday evening due to a damaged power pole, according to emergency services dispatcher Todd Sanders.
The thunderstorms temporarily eased the intense summer heat. Sellers said Tulsa’s official temperature, measured at Tulsa International Airport, dropped from 105 degrees at 6 p.m. to 81 degrees at 7 p.m.
However, like similar thunderstorms that moved south from Kansas last Friday, the rain is not expected to signal any significant long-term change in the weather. Friday’s high temperature in Tulsa is expected to reach about 107 degrees.
Chain lightning strikes behind the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church as a storm moves across the Tulsa area Thursday evening. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
The Riverbend Gardens construction project can be seen in the 600 block of West 11th Street as lightning strikes over Tulsa on Thursday evening. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Joe Keith runs to his pickup as rains comes as a welcome relief in Collinsville on Thursday evening. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Storm clouds move into Collinsville just before the rain starts Thursday evening. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World