Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

May 23, 2013

There is a message with tornado sirens

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The sounds of tornado sirens filled the air around much of Pauls Valley when a threatening storm approached on Monday afternoon.

Fortunately for residents in PV and throughout Garvin County the severe systems here didn’t result in the kind of devastation seen from the massive and deadly tornado sweeping through Moore.

Hours after the storm had passed by it was Pauls Valley Fire Chief Mark Norman who began hearing there was some confusion over what the different siren sounds meant.

“I had a couple of people tell me there was some confusion about that,” Norman said on Tuesday.

“A long steady siren that runs for 3 minutes, that means a tornado has been sighted and you need to seek shelter,” he said.

“The all clear, and when you can come out of your shelter, will be when three short bursts are sounded.”

Those three bursts could be heard Monday when storm spotters had determined the threat was passing to the east of PV.

Minutes earlier the threat was indeed there for the possibility of a tornado touch down right in the middle of town.

Norman and other spotters watched as the storms passed through parts of the county. He saw for himself the severe storm did have some tornadic circulation as it approached.

In fact, the fire chief saw two different storms, one passing over the Whitebead area, another coming from the southwest side of PV.

In both cases no tornado every dropped from the clouds to create the kind of damage or deadly results seen to the north.

“Pauls Valley was real lucky,” Norman said.

“That one could have caught the north side of town,” he said about one of the storms. “The other could have gone across the south side and the downtown area.

“It kept trying to come all the way down but fizzled. It looked mean and I could see it dropping down. It just fizzled.

After the storm passed by Norman said he drove around much of the area to check on the potential damages. He was also looking to see evidence a tornado had touched the ground here.

Fortunately there was no damage to be seen, at least in this county, he said.

“I drove miles and miles of the back roads and didn’t see anything that showed it touched down.”

There have also been reports of law enforcement officers and firefighters from various departments across Garvin County who went to help with relief efforts in Moore.

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