The city of Ada was spared any severe damage, but several towns in southern Pontotoc County weren’t as fortunate. Dozens of trees in Stonewall and the surrounding area were blown over and many were shattered by what emergency officials called straight-line winds.
Falling trees and branches ripped through power lines as straight-line winds snapped power poles and damaged structures in Stonewall and the area south.
High winds caused falling trees to damage a home and two cars at the residence of Walter and Pat Griffin in the 200 block of E. Ninth Street in Stonewall.
“A large limb fell and dented the roof on my car and also broke the windshield of my husband’s pickup,” Pat Griffin said Friday. “We’ve got a lot of work to do today as far as clearing limbs and stuff.”
One falling tree caused a power line to snap and drop across the family’s yard. They were still without power Friday morning.
“It pulled our electric box right off the side of the house,” she said. “(We will) have to put the meter box back up before OG&E will come out and turn the power on.”
The Griffins were in the home when the storm hit.
“I was standing in the kitchen cooking on the stove. I looked out my kitchen window watching the trees swaying back and forth with the wind and all of a sudden I heard a thud,” Pat Griffin said. “When I heard that thud, I knew a tree had come down on the roof of the house.”
Pontotoc County Emergency Management Director Chad Letellier said at least three supercells moved over the county and while several confirmed lowerings occurred, no tornadoes touched down in the county.
Although several storms were headed directly toward Ada, Letellier said tornadic supercells tend to turn right and head east as they grow in intensity.
He said if the storms had intensified any later, the damage in the county could have been much worse.
“We were extremely lucky. We really were,” Letellier said.
Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian and his deputies, along with Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers and volunteer firefighters, spread out at varying locations in the south and west areas of the county before and during the storms, watching for lowerings and touchdowns.
Christian said they get into the storm and relay information to weather officials.
“We go out basically for the protection of the citizens of Pontotoc County and surrounding area,” he said. “If there’s a formation of a tornado, you can relay that a little quicker by sight than you can by radar.”
Christian did see a significant lowering just southwest of Jesse Thursday.
“I saw a funnel that was confirmed by a landowner also,” Christian said.
He said the funnel lowered to about one-hundred feet off the ground before retreating back into the clouds.
Letellier, who was also out storm spotting, said storm spotters did a good job with communicating weather information Thursday.
Emergency officials reported large hail in Roff and the surrounding area.
“We’re getting golfball-size hail and it’s covering the roads here in Roff,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Keith Teel said while the storm passed through the town.
Christian said hail covered the ground near Fittstown and was two-inches thick on the roads.