The Tulsa Tornado of 6 August 2017

On Sunday I awoke to a news story that a tornado had hit Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was about one week after the Edmond Earthquakes. It reminds us that Oklahoma is a dangerous state (about which I have written before).

First of all, when I moved to Tulsa in 1973, I was told tornadoes never hit Tulsa because the Arkansas river, on the west side of town, somehow protects the city. However, a few years later a tornado did hit. And one also hit just last Sunday. A small one, yes, but it caused a lot of damage.

Business damage in midtown Tulsa (source: Tulsa World).

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a total of three tornadoes tore through Green Country early Sunday morning.

THE FIRST TORNADO, AN EF2, TOUCHED DOWN IN TULSA at 1:19 a.m. and traveled nearly seven miles. Next, the second tornado struck Broken Arrow at 1:27 a.m. and was given an EF1 rating. Lastly, the third and final tornado, rated as an EF1, hit Oologah around 1:32 a.m. and traveled about 4.5 miles, according to the National Weather Service.

The first one was in midtown Tulsa, close to 41st and traveled from Yale to Mingo (see map of tornado path below). An EF2 has speeds between 111 and 135 mph.

“Next thing I know something just went boom and hit me in the back of my head and we [she and her baby] went flying and that’s all I can remember.” Celia Daniel crawled to safety after a wall of bricks fell on her. She has fractured vertebrae. Click on the photo to source, then back-arrow to return to blog.

All in all, tornadoes caused severe damage and power outages to the Tulsa area and sent more than two dozen people to the hospital. But there have been no deaths thankfully.
When my business partner said in an email, “Glad I no longer work there.” I didn’t know what he was talking about until I connected the dots. His previous office building, the Remington Tower, is close to 41st and Sheridan, in the path of the tornado.

The damaged Remington Tower, where my business partner Nigel Higgs used to work on the seventh floor. I suspect the foreground of the photo is property also damaged by the tornado. Click to enlarge.



NEWS ON 6 REPORTED THAT TULSA BUSINESSES TOOK A HUGE HIT in the August 6 storm, with four being destroyed, 71 received major damage, 76 had minor damage and in addition, 22 others were affected in some way by the storm, according to TAEMA.


The path of the Tulsa tornado is shown in pink below (click to source image). The track seems to be a skinny path compared with tornados with higher EF numbers. Click here to read my blog on the widest-ever tornado of width 2.6 miles – also in Oklahoma — an EF5 which means wind speed greater than 200 mph.

In conclusion, I thank Jimmy Carter of Tulsa, who kindly sent me links to the tornado hit in Tulsa.

The Gray Nomad ….. Think well.

In May 2013 an EF5 tornado hit El Reno just west of Oklahoma City. 22 people died, including three storm-chasers. This EF5 was the widest tornado ever recorded. 2.6 miles wide with winds up to 296 mph. One tragic story, which ended in death, was about a man who tried to outrun the tornado in his truck. [From my blog: What it feels like in a tornado shelter].

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Celia Daniel
Celia Daniel
5 years ago

That was my son and I in the tornado that hit August 6, 2017. I’m the one in the picture. My son and I was at TGI Fridays. Very scary, moments of impact that change your life forever. I just kept praying to the Lord above. We have God to be thankful for.

6 years ago

It was wildly violent at my house 1.5 mi away but no damage. Usually sirens wake me but there were none. The storm woke me, my cell text said tornado warning for Tulsa. TV was out, radio acting stupid. By the time i had figured it out the twister had already passed by. God protected Tulsa lives! And I still LOVE my OK life!!?

6 years ago

Thanks Ian, that is why I live in Idaho, an almost non-tornado state. It is very unfortunate that people were hurt and businesses were affected. Climate is getting warmer here, same as most everywhere, but we are high and dry here, and that helps keep tornados away they say.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann
6 years ago

A good blog Ian. Keep them coming.

Donna Cowan
6 years ago

Yeah, it was crazy, and there were no sirens. If not for the warning from Fox23 Weather I would not have known there was a tornado warning in the area. Very frustrating when we have the most advanced weather systems in the country. People were still in TGI Fridays. And the picture above shows what happened, but it doesn’t show that the back wall of Fridays was blown out completely. Nothing is there. Thankfully it was not a huge tornado like those that have hit Moore and Joplin, but it was a mess. No homes destroyed. That’s always good. Thanks for the report.

Donna Cowan
6 years ago
Reply to  Ian Palmer

They said it was because it was there before they realized it was a tornado. They thought it was only a severe thunderstorm. They did have the sirens going as it went east towards Broken Arrow. I’m not sure I buy that argument, but then again, it was a rain-wrapped tornado. They had a video of a family, including young children around 8 or 10, who were sitting in the window at Fridays on the west side that was hurt the worst. They had no idea that a tornado was coming and they were sitting there recording the storm when it hit. Here it is: YIKES! Also check out this video at Reasor’s right there at 41st and Yale.

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