Oklahoma Thunderstorms Drench Guthrie

Sheet Lightning, Rolling Thunder, Torrential Rains, and High Winds Hit Southern Logan County and Northwest Guthrie, Oklahoma

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Guthrie Lake swelling from the torrential rains after the storm that hit May 24, 2011
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FIRST PERSON | GUTHRIE, Okla. -- The phrase "the thunder rolls" doesn't even begin to describe the intensity of the thunderstorm-tornado combination that hit the southern Logan County area, just north of Oklahoma City, on Tuesday between 4 and 6 p.m.

We love a good thunderstorm here in Guthrie. Our family enjoys going out in the field and watching the clouds roll in and feeling the first drops of rain hit the trees and gently kiss our skin. But this afternoon's storm was nothing like our favorite storms.

It was gloomy looking all day long, but around 3 p.m., the sky darkened and the thunder came rolling in. We had sheet lightning with a constant thunder. My thought was, "Oh no, this is gonna be one bad storm." Standing outside suddenly felt a little scary and sounded like a thousand drummers banging their drums. The thunder rolled on for an hour straight without ceasing.

Then, around 4 p.m., the sirens started going off. We turned on the news to channel 9, KWTV, which was not giving us any knowledge of why our sirens were going off. So we changed to channel 4, KFOR, and found out that we were in the direct path of a tornado. Our home is brick, but there is no storm cellar. We are in the country situated just north of Seward Road off Coltrane between Guthrie and Liberty Lake. When the weather man said the possible F4 tornado was on Seward headed to Liberty Lake, we began to take precautions.

I had the children go into one of the bedrooms and get on their bunk bed. With a mattress on one side of them, and pillows and blankets surrounding them they sat through the storm watching "Curious George." It was the safest thing we could think to do. I watched the news and looked out the kitchen window from which we can see a nearby water tower. I told my husband as long as that tower is standing we should be fine. I kept praying that God would turn that tornado out of our path and He did. The tornado shifted north and unfortunately hit the west side of Guthrie. When the rains came like a hurricane, we shut the kitchen window to stop the rain from gusting into the house. The rain pummeled the earth and quickly eroded away part of our dirt driveway and road.

My oldest son and I drove down into Guthrie, but we could not get photos of the damage that took place north of the old hospital due to the fire trucks covering the area. Out on Noble or Highway 33 and Broadway we were able to see some of the damage. This nice neighborhood had minor damage, including a downed telephone pole.

Seward Road was a muddy mess after the torrential rains that followed the tornado. We drove West on Seward to Penn, and the worst damage was the roads and a few fallen trees on the road. Most of the vehicles on the road were SUVs and trucks with four-wheel-drive, which I thought was absolutely necessary as we slid through mud and water expanses covering the road. But then a Dodge Charger was behind us doing as well if not better than my huge gas guzzling GMC Suburban. But other than him, I would not recommend any one without 4x4 try driving down Seward west of Coltrane, unless of course you want to be stuck on the side of the road in a foot of mud.

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