Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 21, 2013

Storm danger threatens much of state

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It’s been a busy few days for emergency officials of all kinds with severe storms, some packing powerful tornadoes, threatening to sweep through various parts of Oklahoma.

That threat came dangerously close to Pauls Valley and much of Garvin County late Monday afternoon, while the real tragedy was yet another direct hit on Moore by a massive tornado.

Monitoring weather information on a very close basis has been Garvin County’s emergency management director, Bud Ramming.

Hours before any storm threat arrived Ramming said he had been working the last handful of days preparing for the worst, just in case.

“There’s no stopping a tornado,” Ramming said.

“We plan before, during and after a tornado,” he said.

“Safety and recovery is what we plan for.”

A series of threatening storms developed Monday afternoon with the worst of it again turning much of Moore into a true disaster area.

For the Pauls Valley area the news was much better as another system that appeared to have some tornadic circulation passed by with only minimal damage.

With spotters tracking the storm, the threat finally went to the east as three siren blasts went off, which signify the all-clear call as the threat has passed by this area.

Ramming said the planning before a tornado got started early as first responders from all over the county are essentially put on alert.

“All emergency services are on alert to be on stand-by for any emergency during those hours,” Ramming said about the time for a threat like one that blasted through the area on Monday.

“I’ve been visiting with fire chiefs in the county to make sure they have what they need,” he said Monday morning.

“Our storm spotters are in place when a threat comes our way.”

“Once that threat passes Garvin County we try to find out if we can help elsewhere. I try to find out what we have to offer to other counties in need.”

He adds part of that process involves contacting the emergency managers of the counties hit the hardest by a general storm or in this case a tornado.