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Storms cause power outages

Most of Southwest Oklahoma braced for a round of severe weather Wednesday  the first dangerous forecast of spring 2018  and while it got gusty and wet, most of the area survived in good shape.

Humid temperatures gave way to cool winds from the east in the late afternoon as a sense of foreboding filled with its imminent meeting with hot winds from the southwest, priming conditions for severe thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes. A tornado watch continued into the evening with Lawton held under a warning until called off at 7:45 p.m.

Lightning kicked area firefighters into action in the rain to battle fires. Lawton firefighters responded around 7:30 p.m. to a structure fire call at 6803 SW Woodstock in the Oak Pointe addition that was reported to have begun from a strike. The heavy rain at that time quickly extinguished it for the most part.

Another strike around 7:45 p.m. sent Fletcher's volunteer firefighters into action for a grass fire near 17202 NE Wolf Road, according to emergency radio traffic.

Dark clouds and circling winds combined with heavy rainfall to dump 0.30 inch of rain on Altus by 7:30 p.m. Gusts turned into rotation 4 miles north of Mountain Park shortly after 5:30 p.m. but lost formation as it continued northeast toward Hobart. Thirty minutes before that, Cache opened up its community shelter in preparation for a turn for the worst. Shortly after 7 p.m. rotation was seen west of Cache but its approach to the Wichita Mountains calmed somewhat before regrouping west of Apache and trekking northeast toward Chickasha later in the evening. With that rain came 1.43 inches near Medicine Park, according to the Oklahoma Mesonet. Although it wasn't a drought breaker, the rain offered a brief respite from local drought conditions.

After sweeping through Frederick, the wind was reported to reach dangerous levels near Grandfield around 7 p.m. and citizens were encouraged to seek shelter, according to emergency radio traffic. Although no tornadoes were reported, high winds did their damage in the area. The National Weather Services reported that 2.19 inches of rain was dumped over the Tillman County seat. 

The Lawton Constitution

102 SW 3rd, Lawton, OK
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