The Pryor Times

May 24, 2011

Tornado highly possible tonight

Staff Writer
Julie Shilling

PRYOR — Mayes County Emergency Management is warning of an unusually high potential for strong, long-lived tornado activity this evening.

MCEM Director Johnny Janzen said this is the highest tornado potential he’s ever seen. Mayes County and the surrounding area may be heavily affected by this storm.

“Everybody needs to have a plan for tonight,” Janzen said.

Janzen said everyone will not see storm activity. The storm cell is expected to be so strong that it will likely draw all the energy together into one mass.

Janzen said the time frame for the storm will be from 6 to 10 p.m. The storm could arrive at dusk or after dark.

“They need to be ready,” said Janzen. “Today is out of the ordinary.”

Janzen said the storms will begin developing out west and move in the direction of Mayes County.

In a tornado of this predicted strength, Janzen said taking cover in a home is not sufficient. Residents should go to the home of a relative or friend that has a shelter if they do not have a cellar of their own. In Chouteau, those who have no other place to go can seek shelter at the Early Learning Center, which has a shelter room of 5,000 square feet. Mazie School also has a small storm facility. Locust Grove residents can go to the dome, Pirate Arena.

The shelters will be open before the storms arrive.