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County receives only minor storm damage

Crawford County received only minor damage during a series of storms that rolled through the area Monday evening, but county officials were preparing for the threat of more severe weather Tuesday night.

Dennis Gilstrap, director of Crawford County Emergency Management, had not received any reports of major structural damage by 10 a.m. Tuesday, despite the previous night’s severe weather.

“We were under several tornado warnings, one right after another,” Gilstrap said. “We set off the sirens I don’t know how many times.”

The warnings came from the National Weather Service out of Tulsa, but Gilstrap had no reports of any rotations touching down in his area, he said.

Most of the damage was from high winds, breaking off tree limbs and scattering debris, he said.

“We were fairly fortunate,” Gilstrap said.

About 276 OG&E customers were shown to be out of power at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, though Gilstrap said he thought about 600 people had lost power the night before.

County road workers were doing cleanup Tuesday, but had found only about four trees down blocking roads, said Crawford County Judge John Hall.

Hall, who oversees the road department, said he was looking to prepare for storms expected to move in Tuesday night.

“Basically we’re in really good shape right now, but we’re holding our breath for the next hit,” Hall said.

The National Weather Service was predicting more severe weather and heavy flooding rains for Tuesday evening, including elevated risks for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

Though Gilstrap said he was watching for another inch or two of rain, he did not expect to see much flooding. Hall was more concerned about tornadoes, he said.

Hall postponed the Crawford County Quorum Court, which was supposed to meet Monday night, until Thursday. With nothing pressing in the agenda, he wanted to make sure people were safe at home, he said.

“The Oklahoma City thing has really focused people on weather events,” Hall said. “I didn’t want to take a chance of something like that happening here and people not being at home with their families.”

Today is expected to be sunny with a high near 80 degrees.

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