January 28, 2023
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Red River Technology Center damaged after early Tuesday storm | News

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DUNCAN — The National Weather Service (NWS) has boots on the ground and is analyzing the early Tuesday morning storm that caused some damage in the area, including a fire and roof damage at Red River Technology Center.

Todd Lindley, Science & Operations officer for NWS, said there are several data points they are examining, but at least half a dozen point toward distinguishing the storm as an EF0 tornado.

“We have about half dozen data points in the system that is aligned, but it is not definitive at this time,” Lindley said. “It is a gray area of damaging winds and a tornado, but we are currently looking at some data and could possibly rule it an EF0 tornado once all the data is compiled.”

Lindley stated from the information he received in the office that it is still not conclusive. According to a report given to NWS, staff believes that about 20% of the roof is gone at Red River Technology Center.

One of the reasons NWS is still analyzing the data, Lindley stated, is because the only hesitation was that the storm was not on a continuous path. Officials from the NWS will appear in the area along with several other spots in southwest Oklahoma to continue to add to their findings.

According to reports, NWS issued a tornado warning at around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 13, and that warning lasted until 6 a.m. During that time, several areas of Stephens County became part of that storm’s path.

Officials from Red River Technology Center announced the closure of the building and cancelation of classes until at least Thursday. More information and decisions regarding Thursday and Friday classes will be made and announced at a later time.

Duncan Fire Chief Dayton Burnside said his department was the main one called to the scene. He stated the southeast wing sustained damage from high winds involved in the storm.

Chief Burnside said they are still awaiting data from the National Weather Service. Still, he said the winds ripped off the roof and punctured a gas line, which ignited the fire on the building.

Duncan Fire received a call to the scene at 5:09 a.m. on Dec. 13. Burnside stated there were no injuries and the department contained the scene quickly.

Burnside stated the building has been turned over to officials at Red River Technology Center. The wing will remain shutdown until construction is completed and the insurance company will work with RRTC.

This story is developing as NWS is still investigating. The Banner staff will provide updates as additional information becomes available. 



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