Emergency officials get kudos for their prompt action and willingness to put themselves in harm’s way to ensure Pontotoc County residents knew as much as possible during Thursday afternoon’s super cell thunderstorms. As threatening weather approached they were a beehive of activity, spreading out across Pontotoc County to keep wary eyes on any sign of funnel clouds, hail, heavy rain and the like.

Chad Lettellier, Pontotoc County emergency management director coordinated much of the activity. Lettellier, along with Gene Linton, Ada emergency management director, Pontotoc County Sheriff Gene Christian and his deputies, Roff and Stonewall police, as well as Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers and volunteer firefighters, spread out at varying locations in the south and west of the county before and during the storms, watching for lowerings and potential touchdowns.

“We go out basically for the protection of the citizens of Pontotoc County and surrounding area,” Christian said. “If there’s a formation of a tornado, you can relay that a little quicker by sight than you can by radar.”

The difference, of course, is that watching a radar screen is not hazardous. Playing tag with a tornado can be deadly.

Letellier, who was also out storm spotting, said storm spotters did a good job with communicating weather information Thursday.

While some residents experienced damage in our area, the worst of what came rumbling through last week tracked north and south of here. Next time, and of course, there will be a next time, we may not be so fortunate. It’s good to know our local emergency management folks are on the job, protecting our safety interests.

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