NWS: Checotah tornado rated as EF1

Posted at 2:11 AM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 12:19:26-04

CHECOTAH, Okla. - The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Checotah Tuesday night. The preliminary rating has been designated as an EF1. 

Classes in Checotah were canceled Wednesday after severe storms and a tornado swept through the area.

2 Works for You storm chasers spotted a tornado in the area Tuesday. Roofs were torn off and power lines down due to the weather. Overall, around 2,200 people are without power due to the storms.

Windows from a burger joint called Boomerang Burger were boarded up from being blown out by strong winds. Just down the street from the restaurant, the People’s National Bank also suffered some broken windows.

The city’s emergency service directors says multiple power lines and poles are down. Winds from Tuesday evening were reportedly strong enough to uproot entire trees.

One resident, Dean Knutson, says his family and others made it to his shelter before a tree fell on his home.
"I say it was probably about a 300-foot tree, and we're just very, very lucky that no one was hurt. It caught the corner of the house."

In addition to the Knutson home, another tree was uprooted near City Hall.

The McIntosh County Emergency Manager says they believe the damage was caused by a tornado but the National Weather Service has not confirmed that information.

According to both the mayor and emergency services director, no one was hurt Tuesday night. Cleanup should begin once OG&E gives the all-clear on any downed power lines.

Click here for more information from the Checotah Independent School District.

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