It looks like Monday's tornado might have damaged at least one home in the Sharon area.

On Tuesday afternoon Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer said he was inspecting "suspect damage" on a home approximately 3 miles east of Sharon.  He said the home had "half of its roof gone."  

In addition, a 20 foot by 40 foot metal building near the home was "destroyed," Lehenbauer said, noting "there's about $50,000 or so in estimated damage."

He also noted that some farm equipment had been "scattered in the area" and an approximately 1,000 gallon fuel tanker was "thrown about a third of a mile."

"That's more, in my opinion, than could be caused by straight line winds alone," he said.

In addition, he said, "I did spot a tornado close to the area; it (the damaged home and equipment) is very near the path where I was tracking the tornado."

However, Lehenbauer told The News on Tuesday afternoon that it was still too soon to determine if the damage was actually caused by a tornado touchdown.

"It's hard to determine from the ground, but once we get in the air and see which way all the debris was thrown, and can track the tornado's path, we'll get a better idea," he said, explaining "If the damage is caused by straight line winds, the debris will be blown in one direction, but when it's from a tornado, it's all twisted."

Problems with fog kept officials grounded early Tuesday, but Lehenbauer said they plan to fly the storm path Tuesday evening or this morning to get a better aerial view of the damage.

Having some eyes in the sky might also help officials determine exactly how many tornado touchdowns there were associated with the Monday evening storms.

Lehenbauer said gathering more information about the path of the tornado and the number of touchdowns it made is all part of the investigative process to determine the tornado's rating.

While some news stations issued preliminary ratings classifying the tornado as an F2 based on reports of maximum wind speeds around 140 mph, Lehenbauer told The News that no official rating had yet been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).

In fact, he said his investigation of the damage on the home east of Sharon would potentially influence what rating the NWS would issue, because the new Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale uses a combination of wind speeds and type of damage caused in determining storm ratings.

This is why Lehenbauer expects that when NWS issues a rating for Monday's twister, it will be "at the low end," because the tornado mainly touched down in open pasture land so "we don't have a lot of damage."

"Even if it's a strong tornado, but there's not much damage, the National Weather Service will give it a low rating," he said.

The emergency manager said the majority of damage caused by Monday night's storms came from the large hail that fell rather than from the tornado.

"The hail damage is extremely extensive," Lehenbauer said, noting he would put hail damage estimates around $250,000 to $500,000, while the "tornado damage will likely be under $100,000."

"A huge area experienced quarter- to softball-sized hail," he said, noting hail damage reports stretched "from about 7 to 8 miles north of Woodward down to several miles south."

The emergency manager said he estimated there are "between 200 and 300 cars with windshields needing to be replaced," and many more with dents from the large hail.

"And we're no where close on knowing how many homes that will need roof repairs from the hail," he said.

Aware of several roofing companies that came into town Tuesday hoping to cash in on the hail damage, Lehenbauer said he had a word of warning for Woodward area residents.

"We want to caution people to be watchful with scams for roof and windshield repair," he said.  "They should just use caution, make sure they check people out and have a way to contact them in case something comes up later on."

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The largest hail, which measured around 4-inches in diameter, not only damaged windows, vehicles and structures, but also led to at least 3 injuries.

Lehenbauer told The News Monday night about 2 people who were injured by soft-ball sized hail stones that came crashing through their vehicle windows.  One of those victims was an infant and Lehenbauer said he spoke with the child's parents on Tuesday and heard that the "child is doing well" and only suffered minor injuries.

He said a man who was injured when he was hit in the face with a hailstone that crashed through his windshield also only sustained minor injuries.

"He was not hospitalized," Lehenbauer said, adding that his injuries included "a bloodied lip and nose, that was the report we got."

The third person injured by the large hail, was "a young female" whose wrist was broken after she was hit on the wrist by a soft-ball sized hail stone, the emergency manager said.

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