NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — State emergency managers and the National Weather Service were surveying damage Sunday from severe storms that spawned as many as four tornadoes in southwestern and central Oklahoma.
The overnight storms tore part of the roof off of a casino and toppled power lines and trees. Other businesses, including a hotel, also were damaged along with cars and trucks, said Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
No injuries were reported.
National Weather Service meteorologist John Pike said officials were in Tillman, Comanche, McClain and Seminole counties, where the tornadoes and damage were reported. Forecasters had issued eight tornado warnings as the storms developed Saturday evening ahead of a cold front.
The worst of the damage appeared to be in central Oklahoma at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, where a possible twister ripped part of its roof off during a Beach Boys concert that Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin attended.
Fallin said in an interview with KWTV on Saturday that there was “this huge flood of rain coming through the roof.” She said she had to be evacuated from the casino twice.
Operators at the casino said Sunday they had no time to alert guests before the possible twister hit the property because it happened at the same time that the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area.
The casino has no electricity and parts of the property are closed off while repairs are made. Reservations were canceled through at least Tuesday, casino spokeswoman Kym Koch said.
“Like all Oklahomans, we know that weather events such as this can hit without warning and unfortunately, that is what happened at Riverwind last night,” Koch said in a statement.
Since most of the storms hit rural or remote areas, widespread damage was minimal, Pike said.
“Anytime we walk away like that, you can say we dodged a bullet,” he said.
He said the weather is expected to change again heading into the coming weekend, when the state could see its coldest temperatures yet this year and parts of southwestern and western Oklahoma might possibly get their first freeze.
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