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Violent tornadoes touch down in Oklahoma, leaving thousands without power

Storm damage in Bartlesville.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Storm damage in Bartlesville.

Tornadoes touched down in Central and Northeast Oklahoma, leaving destruction — especially in the small Osage County town of Barnsdall and in Bartlesville.

At least seven tornadoes were reported statewide Monday night and more than 45,000 customers lost power. At least one person is dead in Osage County, according to Newson6.

Conditions for severe weather were primed for tornadoes. According to Oklahoma Mesonet, it was the highest risk day in four years.

Social media and television crews showed chaos in Barnsdall as law enforcementclosed off access to the town while conducting search and rescue operations. The town had also been hit by a tornado back in early April.

According to a social media post from a Barnsdall nursing home, the facility there “took a direct hit.”

Damage to multiple buildings was reported in and around Bartlesville. Social media photos and videos showed a Hampton Inn on the Northeastern side of the city with damage and debris strewn about surrounding parking lots.

Washington County Emergency Management reported major damage to residential areas in Bartlesville, and to medical buildings on the Ascension St. John Jane Phillips Medical Center campus. Only minor injuries have been reported.

A tornado warning was issued just before midnight for the southeast OKC metro. And a severe thunderstorm brought winds in excess of 70 mph, causing multiple power flashes in Norman and Moore. Power poles were damaged on the west side of Moore and almost half of OG&E customers lost electricity in Moore.

Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU.
Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.
Logan Layden is a reporter and managing editor for StateImpact Oklahoma.