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NWS: EF2 damage found following Elk City tornado

(KOKH/Jordann Lucero)

It's been over 24 hours since a tornado ripped through parts of Elk City destroying dozens of homes and killing one person.

The National Weather Service was out surveying the damage Wednesday and preliminary reports say it was at least an EF2 tornado, possibly even stronger.


The damage was found by survey teams assessing the area after a tornado tore a 15-mile track through Beckham County.

Wednesday families and business owners were out checking out their damage and trying to salvage as much as possible.

"They're just pulling what can be pulled out of it...because those homes are not habitable, they're just barely standing if they are standing," Elk City Mayor Bill Helton said.

One person is confirmed dead, between 10 and 12 are injured and at least 100 structures were destroyed or damaged.

"You think in the back of your mind that you might be prepared for this, you're not and I've always heard it's like a war zone. It's like bombs going off and until you really see it, that is an accurate statement," Helton said.

A shelter was set up by the Red Cross at the First Baptist Church in Elk City. That's where the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team was staged Wednesday. They will be on the ground for the remainder of the week picking up debris.

"Bad, bad, bad tornado. Lots of work, lots of effected people. There's a lot of folks that we want to provide help for and see if we can assist them...help them get back on their feet," said incident manager Wes Johnson.

If you'd like to donate to relief efforts in Elk City there is a fund set up at the Great Plains Bank.


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