Several members of the OU community described property damage following a hailstorm Wednesday night, with flooding and power outages in several areas of Norman.
the National Meteorological Service said the storm created winds of up to 80 mph and baseball-sized hail, and that Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s System Watch reported 16 outages with 2,341 customers affected at Norman at 10:50 p.m.
Norman Mayor Breea Clark tweeted a storm warning announcing the closure of Franklin Road between Porter Avenue and 12th Avenue NE, between 12th Avenue NE and east of 24th Avenue NE, Robinson Street between Porter Avenue and 12th Avenue NE, and Rock Creek Road between 48th Avenue NW and 60th Avenue NW until further notice due to flooding.
According to the tweet, Clark reminded drivers to “obey all road barricades” and turn around to avoid high water. She wrote that Norman residents can report damage to their personal property to the state damage report online website and damage to streetlights or city traffic lights to Norman traffic control at 405-329-0528.
Clark wrote in a Facebook comment that she also suffered personal damage as the windshield on her family truck and the window in her son’s bedroom were smashed.
“These are all crazy stories, Norman, and I’m so sorry,” Clark wrote. “We have been through so much! I will continue to post updates and any sort of damage data collection mechanism if we intend to. Stay strong!”
Steve Bowen, head of disaster analysis at Aon Insurance, said in a Washington Post article that the damage “almost certainly exceeds $ 1 billion” because the hail bands have had a significant impact on San Antonio, Fort Worth Dallas and Norman.
Rick Smith, the warning coordination meteorologist at NWS Norman, tweeted that Norman residents need multiple ways to receive a severe weather warning and wrote that the warning was not aired on OKC TV due to President Joe Biden’s speech to Congress.
“For a lot of people, a TV outage is probably their first (and perhaps the only) notification of a warning in their area,” Smith wrote. “This is another in a long list of examples of why everyone needs more than one way to receive a warning !! And another reason why you should never ignore a warning is because it is just a severe thunderstorm.
Smith tweeted about the first thunderstorm warning at 8:28 pm to Norman and mentioned “the potential for golf ball size hail and 60 mph winds”. Two updates were released, one at 8:34 p.m. with a golf ball-sized hail and threats of 70 mph and a second at 8:45 p.m., an upgrade to hail from the baseball size and winds of 80 mph.
Carmen Gonser, a sophomore environmental sustainability student, wrote in a text message to The Daily that her apartment and car on Broadmoor 24 apartments were damaged during the hailstorm from 8:55 p.m. when her first window went out is broken.
“My living room window was completely smashed. Every window panel was gone and the entrance area to my apartment was submerged in water, hail was penetrating as far as my hallway on the other side of my apartment, ”Gonser wrote. “It is possible that the baseboards and floors suffered water damage because there was about 1/2 inch of standing water. My car was also badly damaged. The windshield smashed, the grille was smashed, my headlights were smashed, and my mirror had a hole in it.
Gonser wrote that she and her boyfriend Jacob Martin covered the broken window with cardboard and blankets to protect themselves from the overnight hailstorm. She wrote that it was “scary” to know that they were exposed to the outdoors, which made it difficult to sleep.
“The maintenance staff at this resort are always wonderful, honestly. As soon as the sun came up, their crew came here boarding the windows and repairing the damage, ”Gonser wrote. “We weren’t made aware of their plans with our specific situation, but many here had almost all of their windows smashed, so I understand their priorities are probably focused there. They will probably be working all day cleaning and fixing things. “
Last night’s hailstorm left Gonser “hysterical” as she recalled how a tornado destroyed her home in Woodward, Oklahoma in April 2012. She wrote that she was grateful all the losses were material.
“I was pretty rocked by the storms last night, but today I’m just thankful that no one was hurt. In 2012 my home was destroyed by a tornado in my hometown, so the second I heard the first shard of glass I was hysterical, ”Gonser wrote. “I’m just happy that all of the damage is repairable, and I’m so lucky we only received some damage. Finding a windshield repairer can be a struggle with the high demand, but it really is such a blessing that my windshield is my biggest concern.