Residents of the Ada area should take precautions in case severe weather strikes the area today, said a National Weather Service official.
Ada and other areas in southeast Oklahoma are at high risk for significant severe weather, said NWS meteorologist Kevin Brown.
“We could have severe storms down in south-central and southeast Oklahoma developing as early as 2 o'clock today,” he said. “Right now, they're expected to be somewhat isolated if they do develop that early. But once we get into the evening hours, we may see an increase in thunderstorm activity.”
Brown said storms were developing Monday morning west of Ada, but the system will move eastward late this evening and through the night. He said there is a very good chance for large, violent tornadoes.
“Most of that extremely dangerous-type weather, as far as the amount and coverage of that kind of weather, the potential is greater west and north of Ada,” he said. “But Ada is not out of the woods as activity moves into that part of the state late in the day through tonight.”
Brown said anyone who lives in a mobile home or other structure that is not built to withstand severe weather should seek refuge in a storm shelter or with a neighbor who has a brick home. He also said people should keep a close eye on the weather — via TV, the radio or the National Weather Service — and make plans for seeking shelter.
“Don't wait until a storm is right on top of you,” Brown said. “Make plans well in advance. Play it safe. Have a plan.
“If storms completely miss Ada, that's great. You took action to keep yourself safe. But at least be cognizant of the seriousness of the situation.”
Pontotoc County emergency management director Chad Letellier said county officials are monitoring information from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center and trying to determine when storms might arrive in Ada. Officials are also sharing that information with schools, government agencies and other organizations throughout the county.
“We're also taking that information and forwarding it to the public via Facebook right now,” Letellier said. “And there's some other people that are putting it on some other media as well.”
Letellier said people should have an emergency plan in place and decide on a safe place that they can reach quickly. People should also keep tabs on the weather and take steps to protect themselves.
“Stay weather aware,” he said. “Today could be a big day.”