The Woodward News

October 13, 2012

Lightning causes some issues

Gary Engel
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Residents in the southeast part of Woodward got something of an early wakeup call on Friday as a lightning strike caused a storm siren to activate around 3:30 a.m.

Woodward Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer said the siren was struck by lightning.

"The siren went off for about 10 minutes before it was reset," he said. "We had (public) messages on our Facebook site about it. We'll have it repaired within a week."

The unit was one of those installed after the April 15 tornado, purchased with the help of an Apache Corporation $350,000 gift.

Lehenbauer indicated the new sirens are tripped when electricity to them is interrupted, which stemmed from the lightning.

Additionally. lightning caused a petroleum tank battery fire about 3 miles north of Fort Supply. That strike was about 5 minutes after the one in Woodward, Lehenbauer said. There were no injuries, he added.

The National Weather Service rain gauge at West Woodward Airport recorded 1.34 inches of precipitation, which fell between 2:35 a.m. and 2:55 a.m. Friday.

The weather service says a remaining 50 percent chance of a thunderstorm remains during the day Saturday.

Lehenbauer said any severe threat should start to diminish during the midday, with clear skies predicted for Saturday night.

The NWS forecast has no rain in the forecast then through at least Tuesday, with sunshine and daytime highs in the 80s. Overnight lows are expected to hover around the low- to mid-50s during the period.