Photo gallery: A look at Wednesday's storm and its aftermath

RAW VIDEO: Watch Wednesday's tornado

Check out current weather alerts, including watches and warnings, a local radar and five-day forecast at our updated weather page, tulsaworld.com/weather.


UPDATE (10:05 p.m.): The National Weather Service in Tulsa has issued its preliminary damage survey for Wednesday's tornadoes in northeastern Oklahoma.

A supercell thunderstorm produced two damaging tornadoes, one that went through the Tulsa, Owasso and Verdigris areas and another that went through Claremore. Both were rated EF2 in scale by meteorologists.

EF2 tornadoes have estimated wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph, based on damage.

The first tornado touched down at 7:13 p.m. about 2½ miles southwest of Turley, producing winds of 95 to 105 mph. Meteorologists on Thursday found numerous snapped and uprooted trees, a home with major damage to the roof, a horse trailer thrown about 50 yards into a lake and destroyed barns in far southeastern Osage County, according to the survey.

The tornado moved east across Tulsa, roughly along 46th Street North. Several homes and businesses were damaged, and trees and power poles snapped west of U.S. 75, the survey states.

The storm continued east-northeast across Mohawk Park. Several metal industrial buildings were significantly damaged on Mingo Road near Tulsa International Airport, according to the survey.

The tornado crossed U.S. 169, destroying several barns and snapping more trees along 56th Street North before moving into Rogers County, the survey states.

From the Rogers County line at 56th Street North, the tornado continued east-northeast, crossing the northern part of Patriot Golf Club and into the Stone Canyon subdivisions in Owasso, according to the survey. Numerous homes were damaged, and several homes under construction were destroyed.

The tornado moved across Oklahoma 266 where it destroyed a business, damaged a number of homes, snapped and uprooted trees and destroyed barns, the survey states.

The tornado dissipated about 2 miles north of Verdigris at 7:55 p.m. It traveled about 20 miles, had a maximum width of 1,000 yards and reached wind speeds of up to 120 mph, according to the survey.

The second tornado brewed five minutes later about 2 miles southwest of Claremore.

It appeared that the supercell cycled north of Verdigris, where the first tornado ended, and developed into another tornado near Claremore, the survey states.

Numerous homes were damaged east of Oklahoma 66 and west of Interstate 44. Some of the worst damage was in a housing area near Oklahoma 88, according to the survey.

The tornado moved along Rogers County Road 5000, snapping trees, damaging homes and destroying barns. It moved east-northeast toward Will Rogers Downs on Oklahoma 20, where the tornado turned sharply to the northeast and dissipated at 8:13 p.m. about 4½ miles east of Claremore. It damaged several large barns in that area before it ended, the survey states.

The tornado traveled just more than 6 miles, with a maximum width of 550 yards, according to the survey. It reached wind speeds of 130 mph, the survey states.


UPDATE (7:30 p.m.): Storm surveyors have determined that two EF2 tornadoes rolled through northeastern Oklahoma along a line starting in the north Tulsa-Turley area and stretching just past Claremore.

The first tornado, which surveyors are referring to as the Tulsa tornado, started southwest of Turley at 7:13 p.m. and traveled a continuous 20-mile path just east of Verdigris, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Piltz said.

The second tornado, referred to as the Claremore tornado, started shortly after that southwest of Claremore and went about 8 miles to the east, Piltz said.

Storm surveyors were still working to determine an endpoint to that tornado Thursday night.

Heavy damage was more consistent and sustained in the Claremore tornado, Piltz said. The Tulsa tornado created damage in confined areas as the storm picked up strength as it traveled, he said.

The storm appeared to thread a needle through Tulsa, Piltz said.

"To run a tornado through Tulsa — it really weaved through some of the lowest population densities you have in the area," he said. "Of course, if it hits your house, it's all bad."

Piltz and his team of surveyors anticipate having an initial report released by late Thursday.


UPDATE: A National Weather Service team is conducting a survey Thursday morning to assess the damage caused by the previous night's tornadoes. 

The survey will help meteorologists determine the number and size of the tornadoes that caused damage throughout northeast Oklahoma. 

American Red Cross disaster teams have been conducting street-by-street damage assessments in Tulsa, Mayes, Nowata and Rogers counties, according to a news release. The Salvation Army has a setup near 36th Street North and Hartford Avenue to provide relief to first responders, residents and cleanup crews working in the north Tulsa area.

All of the weather-related medical calls were in the area of 45th Street North to 47th Street North, according to a news release from EMSA. Most of those who were taken by ambulance to hospitals had serious injuries, but one person was in critical condition, EMSA reported.

Police and Fire department personnel canvassed an area from 49th Street North to 43rd Street North between the Tisdale Expressway and Xanthus Avenue. Tulsa Fire Urban Search and Rescue teams were searching every home in the identified damage area in the 46th Street North corridor, the city announced late Wednesday.

Churches and homes were damaged, trees were down, and roads were closed in the area of 46th Street North from Peoria Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. On 46th Street North near Iroquois Avenue, portions of the roof were blown off the Timothy Baptist Church, and windows were blown out.

At least one home was destroyed at 46th Street North and Hartford Avenue, Fire Capt. Stan May said. No one was at the home at the time. Teresa Potter said she saw her neighbors who lived at the destroyed house get into their car and out of the area before the storm hit.

A tree fell in another neighbor's yard, crushing a car and caving into the back of their home, Potter said.

Potter's house had some damage to shingles on the roof but was otherwise OK, she said.

Friends who were in Potter's home with her made it to the cellar, but Potter got only as far as the laundry room before she took cover.

"I was in the house praying hard," she said.

Potter had just moved to the neighborhood. A fire had destroyed her previous home, an apartment, while she was working at the Tulsa State Fair last year.

Volunteers mobilized to help in north Tulsa, including activist group We the People Oklahoma. Leaders in that group worked to identify needs and formed crews to help with cleanup. Community activist Carmen Pettie said she drove through the affected neighborhoods passing out water and letting people use her phone until its battery died. She took a generator to an older person who needed oxygen but whose portable unit was almost out of charge.

In north Tulsa, about 1,000 customers still were without power as of 9:40 a.m. Thursday, according to the Public Service Company of Oklahoma. About 75 power poles were destroyed, most in north Tulsa, by Wednesday's storms. A spokesman said complications with the restoration process mean many may be without power until Thursday evening, but power was expected to be restored for all customers by 1 p.m. Friday. About 190 workers have been dedicated to restoring power.


More stories:

Neighborhood shelter keeps 30 people safe as tornado ravages the homes above

Pecan Porch owner surveying storm damage: 'I don't know whether it's a complete loss ... but probably'

Four north Tulsa schools closed Thursday due to storm-related power outages


Nicholas Vanslyke, who lives near 46th Street North and Iroquois Avenue, said he heard tornado sirens going off about 7:15 p.m. and started taking video with his phone.

He didn’t stay out there long.

“You could see the clouds spinning in opposite directions,” he said, “so I knew something was about to happen.”

Once the rain hit and the wind started going sideways, Vanslyke got his nine dogs in the middle room of his home until the storm passed.

His house was safe, but a tree fell on his fence and ripped the power lines as it fell.

Police, firefighters, EMSA and the Red Cross set up a station at Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic, at 36th Street North and Hartford Avenue, to assist anyone looking for family members or friends, needing a ride home or needing help with other needs.

In Owasso’s Stone Canyon development, Matt Ritchie, 16, went to a neighbor’s storm shelter when his cellphone warned him of the approaching tornado.

“When I came out, two of my neighbors’ houses were torn down and completely flattened,” Ritchie said. “I was just amazed that my house was still there.”

He was nonetheless leaving the neighborhood to stay with a friend overnight.

“The neighborhood is just crazy right now,” he said, “and a lot is going on.”

Most of the damage in Owasso’s 3,000-acre Stone Canyon development occurred in the Twin Creeks neighborhood.

In addition to Ritchie’s neighbors’ homes, the tornado leveled two houses on Persimmon Lane near Fox Trail Road. Both were under construction and unoccupied at the time.

Owasso police officers and the Limestone Fire Department blocked traffic from coming into Stone Canyon in the 77th Street North and 177th East Avenue area while crews worked to clean debris from the streets.

Brandon Strathe, a high school senior and resident of the Stone Canyon neighborhood, said he saw the tornado strike the empty houses from his home nearby. Neighboring homes weren’t damaged, he said, but the tornado swiped the nearby Patriot Golf Club.

“It looked like it just kind of zig-zagged across the neighborhood,” Strathe said of the path. “I feel bad for these people (who lost their homes.)”

One stretch of the south portion of the Stone Canyon neighborhood off 193rd East Avenue and 66th Street North had considerable damage, with garage doors bowed out, windows blown out and blue tarps on roofs.

Local roofing companies dotted the street making temporary repairs, while neighbors offered each other help and traded stories and video.

“I was in the backyard taking pictures,” said Stone Canyon resident Luke Lau. “We went inside and got in our safe room. It was pretty fast and pretty loud. In 30 seconds, it was over.”

A play set went through his back window. His neighbor across the street lost his front door and most of the windows across the front of his house.

“It sounded like a train blowing its horn,” Lau said. “I came out when I could hear the TV (over the sound of the tornado). I went across the street because my neighbor had his front door blown off.”

Cliff Motto, director of Owasso Emergency Management, said multiple houses in the Stone Canyon area had mostly roof damage. No injuries were reported there, and crews were still assessing damage late Wednesday.

A security worker at the Patriot Golf Club at Stone Canyon said Wednesday night that the guards’ shack and a gate were damaged but that the club property itself was not hit.

It wasn’t clear Wednesday night how many homes in the Owasso area were damaged.

Bill Masterson, publisher of the Tulsa World and a resident of the Stone Canyon community, took shelter in a safe room in his garage with five other adults, two children and a dog.

“We were out watching it until we saw it dip into our neighbor’s backyard, and then we ran for cover,” he said Wednesday night.

Damage in his area was reserved to uprooted mailboxes, twisted light poles and damaged houses. A neighbor’s trampoline was swept up in the high winds and was found about a quarter- to a half-mile away.

Limestone’s fire chief told the Tulsa World authorities have also received reports of damage east of 193rd East Avenue, as well as in Claremore and Verdigris.

The storm developed near Westport in far eastern Pawnee County and went due east across the southern part of Osage County. It traveled north of Sand Springs, where it turned northeast and went south of Owasso and north of Verdigris.

From there the storm went through Claremore and weakened as it entered Mayes County, National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Jankowski said.

On the south side of Claremore, visible damage was limited to snapped utility poles and tree limbs. No major structural damage was evident in the city after dark.

Oklahoma 88 was closed south of Interstate 44 in Rogers County from about 9:30 to 10 p.m. while Oklahoma Department of Transportation workers cleared debris from the highway.

The city of Tulsa opened its Emergency Operation Center in response to the tornado that touched down in north Tulsa.

About 10:30 p.m., American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported 5,800 customers without power in Tulsa County, according to a press update from the Emergency Operations Center. PSO anticipated that 4,500 customers would have power restored by midnight, with remaining outages estimated to be restored by 4 p.m. Thursday.

Some Tulsa schools — including McLain Junior High and High School, the McLain Seventh-Grade Academy, Monroe Demonstration Academy and Penn, Hawthorn and Whitman Elementary schools — were without power after the storm passed, and Tulsa Public Schools was working with AEP-PSO to get service restored, the school district reported.

Chris Payne, a spokesman for the school district, said about 12:45 a.m Thursday that classes will not be held at McLain High School, McLain Seventh Grade Center, Monroe and Penn because of the power outage. He noted that there is significant damage in neighborhoods and said that in the interest of student and staff safety, those four schools would be closed. 

In addition, the city’s Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant and Oxley Nature Center were without power Wednesday night, but sewer services were not affected, the city said.


An earlier version of the story appears below:

Seven people were injured and more than 5,000 customers were without power in Tulsa after a storm system spun up tornadoes that caused damage from the northern part of the city eastward through Owasso, Verdigris and Claremore.

The storm first developed near Westport in far eastern Pawnee County and went due east across the southern part of Osage County. It traveled north of Sand Springs, where it turned northeast and went south of Owasso and north of Verdigris. From there the storm went through Claremore and weakened as it entered Mayes County, National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Jankowski said.

Along the way, the service reported the tornado touched down at least four times. Meteorologists won't know until Thursday afternoon whether those were related to one continuous tornado or a series or tornadoes, meteorologist Mark Plate said.

At about 9:30 p.m. the National Weather Service let all tornado warnings in the area expire.

In response to a tornado that touched down in north Tulsa just before 7:20 p.m., the city activated its Emergency Operation Center.

Roads are closed in the area of 46th Street North from Peoria Avenue to Martin Luther King Boulevard. Police and fire personnel are canvassing an area from 49th Street North to 43rd Street North between the Tisdale Expressway to Xanthus Avenue.

The city’s Streets and Water departments are assisting with road barricades and debris removal. Trees are down in the areas listed above, and crews are reporting damage to structures and homes.

People are asked to stay away from the area as public safety departments respond and electrical lines are down.

Most of the injured in Tulsa who were taken to hospitals by EMSA had serious injuries. One person was in critical condition, according to a news release from EMSA.

All of the weather-related medical calls were in the area of 45th Street North to 47th Street North, the release states.

About 8:30 p.m., Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported 5,547 customers without power in Tulsa County. Just before 10 p.m., that number grew to 5,603, with an additional 166 in Rogers County.

On 46th Street North near Iroquois Avenue, portions of the roof were blown off the Timothy Baptist Church, and windows were blown out.

Homes were visibly damaged in the area in the area of area of Martin Luther King Boulevard and 46th Street North.

The north Tulsa area downed power lines and tree limbs as well as storm debris could be seen.

East of Owasso, damage was reported to homes in the Stone Canyon area. Part of the 3,000-acre Stone Canyon development just south of 76th Street North in Owasso is blocked off, with police not letting anyone in. Damage is not visible from outside the development, which is near 76th Street North and 177th East Avenue.

Matt Ritchie, 16, was in the neighborhood and went to a neighbor's storm shelter when his cell phone warmed him of the approaching tornado.

"When I came out, two of my neighbor's houses were torn down and completely flattened," Ritchie said. "I was just amazed that my house was still there."

He was nonetheless leaving the neighborhood to stay with a friend overnight.

"The neighborhood is just crazy right now," he said, "and a lot is going on."

Bill Masterson, publisher of the Tulsa World and a resident of the Stone Canyon community in Owasso, took shelter in a safe room in his garage with five other adults, two children and a dog.

"We were out watching it until we saw it dip into our neighbor's backyard and then we ran for cover," he said Wednesday night.

The storm leveled at least two unoccupied homes in the Stone Canyon community near East Red Fox Trail and East Persimmon Lane.

Other damage in the area was reserved to uprooted mailboxes, twisted light poles and damaged houses. A neighbor's trampoline was swept up in the high winds and found about 1/4 to 1/2-mile away. Most of the damage at Stone Canyon occurred in the Twin Creeks neighborhood.

On the south side of Claremore, visible damage was limited to snapped utility poles and tree limbs. No major structural damage was evident in the city after dark.


Live updates from the storm appear below:

Update (10:45 p.m.): The Tulsa Fire Urban Search and Rescue team is searching every home in the area damaged by the tornado in the 46th Street North corridor.

As crews go door-to-door, about 5,800 residents are without electricity in Tulsa because of downed lines and storm damage. About 4,500 of those should regain power by midnight. Those without power at that time should have it restored by 4 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release from the city.

The city's Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Oxley Nature Center are also without power.

Sewer services aren't affected by the treatment plant's loss of power, according to the release.

Residents can report downed lines at PSO by calling 888-218-3919.

City crews warned citizens to stay away from the damage area.

While the tornado blew through the area, Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency activated sirens for in the city's north quadrant for 58 minutes, the release states.

The following emergency departments are working in the aftermath of the tornado: Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa Fire Department, City of Tulsa Streets and Storm Water, City of Tulsa Water and Sewer, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, Tulsa Red Cross, PSO, Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency and EMSA, according to the release.

9:23 p.m.: The weather service will let tornado warnings in northeastern Mayes County and west central Delaware County expire at 9:30 p.m.

Meteorologists said the storm weakened below severe limits and doesn't appear capable of producing a tornado. 

A severe thunderstorm warning will remain in effect until midnight for northeastern Oklahoma.

9:03 p.m.: The city activated its Emergency Operation Center in response to the tornado that touched down in north Tulsa.

Roads are closed from 46th Street North between Peoria Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Police and Fire department personnel are canvassing an area from 49th Street North and 43rd Street North between the Tisdale Expressway and Xanthus Avenue.

The city’s Streets and Water departments are assisting with road barricades and debris removal. Trees are down in the areas listed above, and crews are reporting damage to homes and other structures.

People are asked to stay away from the area as public safety departments respond and electrical lines are down.

8:56 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for northeastern Mayes County and west-central Delaware County until 9:30 p.m.

8:54 p.m.: Severe weather tore the roof off Timothy Baptist Church, located near 46th Street North and Iroquois Avenue in Tulsa, and blew out its windows. 

Homes in the area of Martin Luther King Boulevard in north Tulsa are visibly damaged. Power lines and tree limbs are down across north Tulsa.

On the south side of Claremore, visible damage seems to be limited to snapped utility poles and tree limbs. No major structural damage is evident in the city after dark.

8:45 p.m.: Damage has occurred to homes in the Stone Canyon area in Owasso. Part of the 3,000-acre Stone Canyon development just south of 76th Street North in Owasso is blocked off, with police not letting anyone in. Damage is not visible from outside the development, which is near 76th Street North and 177th East Avenue.

8:28 p.m.: EMSA medics have transported nine patients with weather related injuries.

Most of those patients were transported with serious injuries. One patient is in critical condition, according to a news release from EMSA.

All of the weather-related calls were in the area of 45th Street North to 47th Street North, the release states.

An American Red Cross command post was set up near 46th Street North and Iroquois Avenue for those affected by severe weather.

8:28 p.m.: Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported 5,547 customers without power in Tulsa County.

8:13 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for northern Craig County until 8:45 p.m.

At that time a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located about 14 miles west of Welch. It was moving northeast at 30 mph.

8:08 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for northwestern Mayes County and central Rogers County until 9 p.m.

At that time, a confirmed tornado was located near Tiawah and was moving east at 25 mph.

8:05 p.m.: The weather service reported a confirmed tornado on the ground in Claremore moving east at 25 mph.

8:02 p.m.: The weather service reported a likely tornado on the ground between Oklahoma 66 and Interstate 44 between Verdigris and Claremore. It was moving east.

7:55 p.m.: The weather service reported a tornado touched down near Verdigris and was moving east to 30 mph. A tornado warning remains in effect for Rogers County until 8:15 p.m.

7:51 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning of east central Nowata County and northwestern Craig County until 8:15 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located six miles east of Delaware. It was moving northeast at 30 mph. Quarter-sized hail is possible.

7:46 p.m.: The service reported a tornado that touched ground four miles west of Verdigris near the Port of Catoosa. It was moving east at 30 mph.

7:33 p.m.: The weather service continued a tornado warning for southwestern Nowata County until 7:45 p.m. Quarter-sized hail is possible.

7:28 p.m.: The weather service reported a tornado on the ground three miles southwest of Owasso that was moving east at 25 mph.

The service also issued a tornado warning for southwestern Rogers County and Northeastern Tulsa County until 8:15 p.m.

7:18 p.m.: The weather service reported a tornado on the ground near 36th Street North and Martin Luther King Boulevard. The tornado was moving east at 30 mph.

7:15 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for southwestern Nowata County and east central Washington County until 7:45 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located eight miles northwest of Watova and was moving east at 30 mph.

7:01 p.m.: A tornado warning for southeastern Osage County and northeastern Tulsa County remains in effect.

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located three miles north of Sand Springs and was moving east at 25 mph. Golf ball-sized hail is possible.

Locations in or near the path of the storm include northern Tulsa, Owasso, Collinsville, Turley, Sand Springs, Skiatook and Sperry, according to the service.

6:54 p.m.: The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Nowata, Rogers and Washington counties until 7:45 p.m.

6:46 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for Osage, Pawnee and Tulsa counties until 7:30 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Keystone State Park and was moving east at 35 mph. Golf ball-sized hail is possible.

6:35 p.m.: The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Osage, Pawnee, Tulsa and Washington counties until 7:30 p.m.

6:27 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for northeastern Osage County and northern Washington County until 7 p.m.

A thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located four miles east of Elgin and was moving east at 45 mph, according to the service. Half dollar-sized hail is possible.

4:51 p.m.: The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Osage, Pawnee, Creek, Nowata, Rogers, Tulsa and Washington counties until 9 p.m.

4:46 p.m.: The weather service issued a server thunderstorm warning for northeastern Osage and Washington counties until 5:30 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm was located about four miles north of Pawhuska and was moving northeast at 30 mph, according to the weather service. The storm could produce golf ball-sized hail and 70 mph wind gusts. A tornado is also possible, according to the center.

4:45 p.m.: The tornado warning for Osage County has been allowed to expire.

4:20 p.m. The weather service issued a tornado warning until 4:45 p.m. for Osage County.

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located 8 miles southwest of Pearsonia, according to the weather service. Golf ball-sized hail is also possible.

1:50 p.m. The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m. for areas just west of Tulsa.

Counties under the watch are Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, Love, McClain, Murray, Noble, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie and Stephens.

12:15 p.m. The severe thunderstorm warning has been canceled for Osage and Pawnee counties. According to the National Weather Service, severe weather potential increases throughout the afternoon in northeast Oklahoma.

Noon: The severe thunderstorm warning has been canceled for Creek County. Osage and Pawnee counties will remain under the warning until 12:30 p.m.

11:47 a.m. The severe thunderstorm warning has been extended to 12:30 p.m. for Osage and Pawnee counties.

11:24 a.m. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued in Creek, Osage and Pawnee counties until noon.

Additional thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon across central Oklahoma, and move east into eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas later today and tonight.

In Tulsa, a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast today. However, new rainfall amounts of less than 0.1 of an inch are expected without a thunderstorm.

Chances fall to 40 percent tonight in Tulsa, with rainfall amounts of less than 0.1 of an inch expected once again, without a thunderstorm.

As of Tuesday, Tulsa recorded 2.10 inches of rain this month, which is nearly an inch below normal for this time of March, according to the weather service.

Tulsa's temperatures are forecast to reach the 70s this afternoon and each day for the next week, except for Friday, which has highs in the 60s forecast.

Overnight lows in the 50s are forecast tonight in Tulsa, with lows in the upper 30s forecast for Friday night.

As of Tuesday, Tulsa's average temperature this month is 5 degree above normal, according to the weather service. The highest was 82 degrees on March 23, while the lowest was 31 degrees on Monday and March 19.


7:30 p.m.: The weather service reported a tornado on the ground southwest of Owasso that was moving east to northeast.

7:25 p.m.: The weather service issued a tornado warning for southwestern NowataCounty until 7:45 p.m. Quarter-sized hail is possible.