After a day like Wednesday, maybe Duncan should take Chicago’s title as the “Windy City.”

Heavy winds battled about in Stephens County and much of Oklahoma on Wednesday. The storm front produced wind gusts that were strong enough to cause substantial damage to several trees and caused a temporary power outage.

The Automated Weather Observation System at Duncan Municipal Airport recorded a peak wind gust of about 50 miles per hour. The sustained wind averaged 33 miles per hour. Both recorded wind speeds took place between 2 and 3 a.m.

Allen Passmore, flight instructor, said, “The wind is quite a bit stronger than usual. Usually the only time it gets this strong is around thunderstorms.”

In addition to the fallen trees, electric companies also had trouble with the blustery weather.

David Yeager, Duncan Power director, said, “PSO (Public Service Company of Oklahoma) had a pole break near our lines. We had to de-energize them as a safety precaution.”

Yeager said the pole broke about noon in the 100 block between Willow and Main.

“With winds that strong, it’s hard to repair poles safely if you don’t de-energize the lines,” he said.

People driving through Duncan could see several trees that had been toppled, exposing the root systems.

Johnny Marsh and Joey Montoya had a tree in their yard fall about 3:30 a.m. The tree, located near 14th on Willow, blocked part of the eastbound lane of Willow.

Montoya said he was sleeping when the tree fell. The crash of the tree was loud enough to wake him up, he said.

“All of a sudden, I heard this rumbling,” he said. “I looked outside and saw the tree leaning over.”

The wind and the crashing of the tree rattled his house windows, he said.

“It hit pretty hard,” Montoya said. “I wish I could have seen it.”

Although Montoya didn’t see the tree come down, Marsh said he had a front-seat view of the destruction.

“I see the tree tipping over,” he said. “Then a big gust of wind blew it over. It was pretty loud too.”

The tree was about a foot and one-half to two feet in diameter, which was something Marsh said was surprising to him.

“As big as that tree is, none of the smaller trees blew over,” he said.

On the corner of Eighth and Pecan, another tree fell victim to the brutal wind storm.

The resident, Lynn Hlavaty, said his wife and he were sleeping when the wind split their Bradford pear tree in half about 3:30 a.m. The tree was just outside their bedroom window.

“I woke up, and I heard this big loud snap,” Hlavaty said. “I didn’t realize what it was until I looked out the window.”

He said the tree was the first tree they had planted when they moved into the house about 11 years ago. Until today, his property was landscaped with 16 trees. Now it’s only 15.

“It made me sad a little bit to lose that tree,” Hlavaty said.

He said he called a local nursery to find out how he could save the remaining portion of the tree. He said they told him to put black tar on the break because the cold weather would make the tree suffocate.

Although the tree did break, he said he was relieved for one thing.

“I’m glad that if it had to break, it fell away from the house,” Hlavaty said.

Recommended for you