Tragedy struck the already hit hard community of Woodward, OK at about 1218 am CDT the morning of Sunday, April 15th. Just a week before, the west and north sides of Woodward had gone through a hail storm of baseball to grapefruit sized hail which had injuried 3.
The reason that the town’s tornado sirens didn’t sound was due to the fact that lightning had struck and knocked out the power. It had rendered the tornado sirens non-functional. Even though the National Weather Service in Norman, OK had issued warnings for the system as it came out of Ellis County into Woodward County in between the communities of Arnett and Woodward, the city was without power.
I have included the public information statement with this entry. Below is a radar image of the storm as it came into the town of Woodward.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
441 PM CDT MON APR 16 2012…CORRECTED MAX WIND SPEED
…PRELIMINARY STORM INFORMATION FOR THE WOODWARD OKLAHOMA TORNADO…
BEGINNING TIME: ~1150 PM
ENDING TIME: ~1227 AM
BEGINNING LOCATION: 2 NE ARNETT (ELLIS COUNTY)
ENDING LOCATION: 4 NORTH OF WOODWARD (WOODWARD COUNTY)
EF-SCALE RATING: EF-3 ( MAX WIND SPEED 136-165 MPH )
THE TORNADO DEVELOPED APPROXIMATELY 3 MILES NORTHEAST OF ARNETT AND MOVED NORTHEAST. SIX STRUCTURES WERE DAMAGED AS THE TORNADO MOVED TOWARD THE WOODWARD COUNTY LINE. ONLY MINOR DAMAGE… DOWNED TREES AND POWER POLES/LINES… WAS SEEN AS THE TORNADO MOVED OVER MAINLY RURAL PORTIONS OF WOODWARD COUNTY. AT APPROXIMATELY 1212 AM… THE TORNADO STRUCK TWO MOBILE HOMES 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF WOODWARD. THE DAMAGE HERE WAS DETERMINED TO BE EF-2 IN INTENSITY… WHICH ALSO RESULTED IN 3 FATALITIES. THE HEAVIEST DAMAGE… RATED EF-3… WAS REPORTED AS THE TORNADO ENTERED THE SOUTHWEST SIDES OF WOODWARD AROUND 1218 AM. SEVERAL HOME AND BUSINESSES WERE HEAVILY DAMAGED AS THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST. SEVERAL MORE MOBILE HOMES WERE DESTROYED ON THE NORTH SIDE OF WOODWARD… WHICH RESULTED IN 3 ADDITIONAL FATALITIES. THE TORNADO FINALLY EXITED THE CITY OF WOODWARD AT APPROXIMATELY 1223 AM… EVENTUALLY DISSIPATING APPROXIMATELY 4 MILES NORTH OF WOODWARD AT 1227 AM.
INFORMATION SHOULD STILL BE CONSIDERED PRELIMINARY AS WE CONTINUE TO LOOK OVER INFORMATION.