Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


April 15, 2012

5 killed in Woodward, Okla., tornado



Meritt Harlow, circulation director for the Woodward News, said he witnessed the tornado from his father's home.

"We were watching it, it happened so quick," said Harlow. "I got my niece, who is in a wheelchair, in the cellar, then went back to see exactly what it was going to do. When I stepped out on the front porch I could see it was there. I got in the cellar and rode it out."

More than 2,500 homes were without power as a result of downed utility lines. In addition to the trailer park, several homes, a movie theater and the Mututal of Omaha building in the tornado's path were destroyed or badly damaged, officials said.

The downtown area was spared.

Marty Logan, a retired firefighter who works as a storm spotter for an Oklahoma City television station, said he knew the tornado was headed toward Woodward "but I just didn't have a visual on it."

Then, he added, "all of a sudden, there it was."

Logan said he saw a utility tower get hit, followed by a power line flash and lightening.

He said he he followed the storm into Woodward, and warned people of its path.

"Hopefully," said Logan, "we got some lives saved."

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at a local church, and at least a dozen people were staying there. The Salvation Army also provided assistance.


Details for this story were provided by the Woodward, Okla., News.

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