National Weather Service Tours Damage - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

03.29.07

National Weather Service Tours Damage

It could be days before we know the intensity of at least a dozen tornados that blew through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles Wednesday night, taking lives and destroying property.

Vance and Barbara Woodbery of Elmwood, and Monte Ford of Elk City. They were all killed in Wednesdays storms. Now the National Weather Service is trying to determine how strong the tornados had to be to lead to such loss.

"It's a complicated process to evaluate a single tornado and it's taken us all day to evaluate two," says Matthew Kramar of the NWS. 

This sight means more than damage for National Weather Service crews, it will translate into answers about the strength of last night's storms.

In the aftermath, they're travelling through the eastern part of the panhandle to meet with victims, and get a handle on what happened.

"It blew our barn away, the skirting off our double wide, roof off garage, fences are down turned a refridgerated box car over," says Dave Lane, a Donley County Rancher.

Eachis a damage indicator that will help determine what kind of tornado ripped through this part of Donley County. And where it goes on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Even the way each structure was built clues experts into wind speeds.

There are a few things the NWS can gather just by looking at this scene.

"My guess is this wasn't initial touchdown point based on degree of movement of items we've seen on the property. Whatever hit this property continued up to I-40 and one mile north of I-40," says Kramar.

While victims already know what they need to do to right what went wrong. "We're going to bury the barn, we have to see what a new one costs," says Lane.

Two other men from Arnett and Guthrie, Oklahoma were injured. Their conditions are not known at this time.

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