NOWATA, Okla. (AP) — Four people, including a young child, were killed when strong winds accompanying severe thunderstorms blew through northeastern Oklahoma, authorities said.
Two adults and a child were killed Friday when straight-line winds destroyed a mobile home in Nowata County, located along Oklahoma’s border with Kansas, Undersheriff Doug Sonenberg told KSWO-TV. They were found in a creek.
Authorities didn’t identify the three people killed. Sonenberg didn’t immediately return calls from The Associated Press early Saturday.
Farther east, straight-line winds flipped a semi onto a cement barrier wall, trapping the driver inside for nearly three hours near Afton in Ottawa County, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported. Jimmy King, 70, of Ash Grove, Mo., died at the scene of massive injuries, troopers said.
The storms were part of storm system and cold front that collided with triple-digit temperatures in much of the state on Friday. Wind gusts topping 70 mph were reported at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
Damage to some roofs and a garage also were reported in Nowata County, and tree and power line damage was reported in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The winds and storms caused more than 18,100 power outages in western, central and northeastern Oklahoma.
The heavy winds propelled grass fires across the area, and Osage County Undersheriff Lou Ann Brown told the Tulsa World that four people had to be evacuated. Crews were able to slow most of the blazes, and rainfall was expected to assist with the efforts, Brown said.
In just an hour at Tulsa International Airport, the temperature dropped from 101 degrees to 78 degrees.
Marianne McGovern, a legal assistant, said the winds caused her downtown Tulsa office building to sway Friday afternoon.
“You sit here and you feel like you’re on a ship kind of,” she said. “Everybody was coming out in the hall saying, ‘Did you feel that?’”
Information from: KSWO-TV, http://www.kswo.com
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