The Edmond Sun

May 25, 2013

Clean-up continues for Edmond tornado victims

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mid-June is the approximate time that work is expected to be completed in Edmond for replacing nine transmission structures lost in Sunday’s tornado, said Brian Alford, OG&E spokesperson. Repairs could take longer, depending on weather conditions, he added.

Work in Edmond focuses on the Forest Oaks and Thornbrooke additions, both along Bryant Avenue. Twelve homes were damaged in the city by the storm that also dropped hail on northwest Edmond. Major damage impacted three of the homes while the other nine homes had minor damage, said Matt Stillwell, director of the city’s emergency communications and management.

Contract crews from out-of-state are helping OG&E in their restoration effort throughout central and southern Oklahoma, Alford said.

The Edmond tornado has been given an EF-1 rating by the National Weather Service, meaning that its winds were in the range of 86-110 mph. The path of the tornado was 7 miles from 4:22-4:30 p.m. near 33rd Street and South Boulevard to near State Highway 66 and Post Road.

The tornado strengthened to an EF-3 with 136-165 mph winds  when it struck 3 miles northwest of Luther to Carney and then 2 miles southeast of Tryon, NWS reported. The storm’s path had covered 20 miles.

“I live in Thornbrooke and saw the tornado coming down the street toward my house, actually,” said state Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond. Damage to Grau’s home consists of fences destroyed, trees down and minor roof damage, he said.

“We have neighbors that lost a portion or all of their roofs,” Grau said. “And we had one house that lost its entire second story. And, of course, compared to what happened in Shawnee later on Sunday and in Moore on Monday, we were very fortunate.”

Temporary power to the affected areas is being supplied by Edmond Electric, said Glenn Fisher, Edmond Electric utility director.

Residents spent the week cleaning up debris. The City of Edmond’s Field Services Division of Public Works will be collecting storm-related debris from the May 19 tornado in accordance with the City of Edmond’s Emergency Operation Plan’s Level Two Response.

Debris must be placed at curb by May 28. Affected areas where debris pick up will occur include in the area beginning one-half mile south of 15th Street to 33rd Street and from Boulevard Avenue east to I-35; and the Territories and Timberlake additions.

Tree debris must be cut into no more than 6-foot sections and must be placed by the curb of the residence no later than 8 a.m. Tuesday. Crews will begin collection on Tuesday and continue until they have covered the area, the city stated in a release.

Disabled residents in the designated affected area, who are unable to bring tree debris to the curb, can contact City of Edmond Code Enforcement at 359-4719 (select option 2) to request assistance. Edmond residents not located within the determined affected area boundaries, can utilize the standard bulk disposal services provided through the city’s Solid Waste Department.

The total dollar amount of damage to Oklahoma County Real Estate specific property, not out buildings or walls, is estimated at $754,639 by the Oklahoma County Assessor’s office.

“We’re talking about real estate and buildings that have to do with private property owners,” said Larry Stein, chief deputy at Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office and an Edmond resident.

The property tax reduction will amount to about 1 percent, for a total savings of about $7,456, according to the assessor’s office.

There are nine properties that suffered up to 50 percent damage in Edmond neighborhoods between the streets of Third on the south, 15th on the north, Coltrane on the east and Bryant on the west.

“Those are the only damage reports that we have from the entire county,” Stein said.

The assessor’s office will present this information as evidence to lower the assessment of value, which will reduce the property tax bill. As required by law, these properties will be reassessed next year to determine the market value, according to the assessor’s office.

“We hope we will get calls from anyone else who may have suffered any damage,” Stein said. “If it’s eligible, it will be reduced on the assessment and we will do whatever we can to get that done.”

If someone in Oklahoma County has damage that would like to be documented, contact the assessor’s office at 713-1241. | 341-2121