The damage from Thursday night’s storms continues to have an impact.
There were three tornadic touchdowns in Comanche County, according to Alana Pack, Comanche County/Lawton Emergency Management Deputy Director. The worst of it came with the tornado warning issued for Comanche County at 4:34 p.m.
“A confirmed tornado was located at the intersection of Southwest Sheridan and Southwest Lee Boulevard,” she said. “Two additional tornadoes were located 2 miles west of Geronimo on Baseline Road and 5 miles south of Geronimo on Oklahoma 277.”
Emergency Management and the National Weather Service have been conducting initial damage surveys and assessments. Pack said at this time, there were only two places with significant damage located and no major injuries were reported.
The commercial strip mall at Northwest 19th Street and Gore Boulevard suffered a partial roof collapse. Two employees and a customer were inside the State Finance of Lawton office but were not injured.
According to a press release from Comanche County Emergency Management, seven structures have been identified as having potential significant damage. No details on the structures, such as location or damage, was given.
West Lee Boulevard between South Sheridan Road and Southwest 27th Street remained closed Friday as PSO and Force Electrical Services crews replaced over a half dozen power poles toppled in Thursday’s storms. Power lines were strewn about the roadway but have since been replaced with new poles.
The historic Vaska Theatre, 1902 NW Ferris, took a beating from the hail. Owner Justin Hackney said the “marquee is toast” and a “good portion of our neon is broken in the tower.” Even without the marquee lit up for a while, the theater reopened Friday.
A reported downburst near West Gore Boulevard and 27th Street caused multiple power lines and tree limbs to topple. That area was cleared relatively quickly, according to Pack.
PSO reported around 17,500 customers in the Lawton area without power by 7 p.m. Thursday. By 3:20 p.m. Friday, approximately 1,700 remained without power, according to PSO.
Minor to major damages were reported to hundreds of structures and vehicles in Lawton. Most of these were from dime to baseball-sized hail, Pack said.
Emergency Services crews across the City of Lawton and Comanche County responded to over 113 storm-related incidents within a two-hour period Thursday night, according to Pack. This includes vehicles trapped in high water locations.
City and county crews continued cleaning debris from roadways. Pack said all City of Lawton and Comanche County government offices made it through the storm with no degradation of services.
A second round of rain and hail pelted Lawton around 9 p.m. Thursday. It didn’t necessarily override the first round’s damage inflicted but it didn’t help those affected.
Pack said those who have been displaced due to the storm are working with the American Red Cross to receive assistance.
A Red Cross comfort center was opened Friday afternoon at the Great Plains Coliseum Annex.
Mark Trotter, Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross Kansas — Oklahoma Region, said assistance is free and available to anyone in need. Help is also available by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.