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Severe weather causes damage in western Oklahoma

Residents in a small western Oklahoma town have begun assessing the damage left by severe weather.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Residents in a small western Oklahoma town have begun assessing the damage left by severe weather.

Winds from a possible tornado damaged homes and a fire station and tossed several cars of a freight train in Bessie before heading eastward and dissipating.

There were no reports of injuries with the storm.

"Basically it was confirmed by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol that the roof had been blown off the fire station in Bessie and the roofs of some local houses, and several railroad cars were blown off the track," said Tom Merrill, director of Cordell Emergency Management.

Merrill said OHP troopers reported seeing a funnel cloud in the vicinity.

The rail cars, weighing 55,000 pounds each, were empty, Washita County Sheriff's deputy Brandon Rogers said.

Bessie co-op general manager Randy Wanzer said winds rocked tractor-trailers outside his office and lightning caused problems.

"I'm sure it (lightning) burned some of our computers. I can smell 'em burning," Wanzer said.

Damage was reported throughout the town of about 250.

"The windows in my house sucked in like someone was taking a deep breath," Bessie resident Candace Dudgeon said.

Small funnels also were spotted as storms moved into Caddo and Canadian counties on the fringes of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, but there were no confirmed touchdowns.

A possible tornado was reported 10 miles east of Enid just north of U.S. 412 about 6:45 p.m. Hail as large as baseballs was reported in the area.

Mike Honigsberg, director of Garfield County Emergency Management. Honigsberg said a farmer east of Garber reported seeing a funnel cloud touched down briefly, kicking up dirt and dust, but no structure damage occurred.

Storm spotters reported seeing twisters touch down east of Ponca City and east of Perry, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury.


Some information from: The Oklahoman,, and the Enid News & Eagle,