Storm damage reported in Washington County

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Okla. - A line of storms that descended on Washington County Thursday evening resulted in hundreds of acres burned, downed trees and power lines and a roof torn from an old Oglesby school building.

According to Oglesby Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charlie Cunningham, shortly after 5 p.m., lightning preceding the front struck the ground multiple times near Oglesby, causing a grass fire that burned from 300 to 400 acres between U.S. Highway 75 and County Roads 2800 and 2900.

It took firefighters from five companies two hours to wrest the fire under control.

While nearly 300 to 400 hay bales were lost to the flames, no structures were reported damaged.

Wind that quickly followed the lightning strikes, according to Cunningham, made fighting the fire difficult.

"The wind switched around on us a bunch of times making a whole bunch of fingers of fire," he said.

Winds not only proved bothersome to the firefighters but destructive in Oglesby, tearing the roof off of an old school, turned Oglesby Christian Center, and breaking and bringing down a number of trees and power lines.

"A pecan that had been there for years, good and strong, a strong wind broke it clean in half," Cunningham told 2NEWS.

He said just east of the grass fire, the area got almost an inch of rain in the space of 20 minutes and in Oglesby, nearly two inches.

Washington County Emergency Management Kary Cox told 2NEWS emergency management crews that night were sent to investigate the damage.

"The storm did bring some strong gusts and had a high potential for downbursts."

Predicting the storm's course and strength was difficult Thursday evening as the local National Weather Service radar in Tulsa was down for maintenance.

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