Many Shawnee residents encountered abrupt wake-up calls at 4:26 a.m. Tuesday, as notifications of imminent extreme alert were delivered via cell phone. Tornadic activity was reported in the area, though Shawnee wasn't the target.

Many Shawnee residents encountered abrupt wake-up calls at 4:26 a.m. Tuesday, as notifications of imminent extreme alert were delivered via cell phone. Tornadic activity was reported in the area, though Shawnee wasn't the target.

Dale wasn't so fortunate.

Just northwest of the city, Dale did get scraped by a tornado meandering its way toward Meeker in the early morning hours.

Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management Director Donald D. Lynch said his department was tracking the Dale tornado.

“The National Weather Service was able to get an indication of debris in the air to confirm the Dale tornado,” he said. “That tornado moved northeast toward Meeker.”

Most damage Shawnee experienced was due to high winds. Lynch reported two multi-family dwellings with minor damage at Burns Apartments and Howard Residence Hall, on the OBU campus.

The storm was moving about 50 miles per hour, Lynch said, but the winds were between 50 and 60 miles per hour.

“It was two wind shear vortices,” he said. “These are winds that change direction and increase with speed the higher you go in the atmosphere.”

Stronger shear is often the catalyst for tornado development, Lynch said.

“We are fortunate that the storm cell was moving fast preventing a tornado from forming over Shawnee,” he said.

Damage

Lynch said in Pottawatomie County a single-family dwelling was reported to have minor damage; three mobile homes were destroyed; two mobile homes reported major damage; one had minor damage; and one barn was destroyed in the area between the North Canadian River and Old Hwy 270 south of Tanner Road (Dale). One single family dwelling was reported to have minor damage on Hampton Lane, a mile and a half northeast of the Tanner Road damage, Lynch said.

“Sign damage reported earlier at House of Flowers, at University and Kickapoo Streets in Shawnee, was actually letters blown off the message board,” Lynch said. “The sign itself was not damaged.”

All structures — with the exception of the barn — are reported as insured, Lynch said.

River Flooding

Lynch said Flood Stage on the North Canadian River, at Harrah, is 14 feet. Tuesday afternoon he said that area was at 17.4 feet.

“Crest is expected at 19.4 feet Thursday morning,” he said. The river is expected fall below flood stage on Friday morning.

Lynch said rural agricultural land and roads near the river in northwestern Pottawatomie County are being impacted by flood waters at this time.

Flood Stage at the North Canadian River, at Shawnee, is 16 feet, he said. On Tuesday afternoon the stage the river was at was 11.35 feet.

“The river is expected to crest near 16 feet on Friday morning,” he said.

Little River, near Tecumseh, has a Flood Stage of 11 feet. Lynch said the stage Tuesday afternoon was 9.32 feet.

The river was expected to crest at 10.4 feet Tuesday evening, he said.