Yesterday, early evening, some of the IntelliDent Paintless Dent Repair team was doing some shopping in Walmart when they heard the tornado sirens. Owner, Mike Brown, rushed home with his items and was greeted by his very upset and panicking pup who knew something was up. Because there was no basement or shelter in the apartment nor a public storm shelter in Edmond, they asked a neighbor in the complex. They were advised to seek shelter at Mercy Hospital to wait out the storm.
Upon arriving at Mercy Hospital, the IntelliDent family was joined with many other frightened residents of Edmond and the Channel 9 news team. Everyone watched as the ominious storm passed by and eventually formed a funnel cloud around 33rd and Broadway, right by the IntelliDent repair shop. There was a frightening light display as power flashes from transformers were blown out as they were hit by high winds or debris.
The storm traveled east and tore up other small towns in its path. Once it was safe to leave, Mike drove to the shop to survey the damage. Luckily, the shop remained intact. Later, they found out the tornado was a F4 and over a mile wide. The hail damage was about 1 inch and 3/4 near Edmond and grew to tennis ball size the further east the storm traveled.
Why are there no basements in “Tornado Alley?”
Basements aren’t commonplace in Oklahoma City so many of the Edmond residents already know of the safest place to go in case of a damaging storms or tornado. Naturally, many question why basements aren’t a standard in most homes in Oklahoma, especially since Oklahoma is in “Tornado Alley.” The main reason why basements are not built into Oklahoma homes is because of the unstable soil and very dense clay that is very common throughout many of the southern states, including Oklahoma. This unstable soil or dense clay will naturally shrink and swell, making any subterranean cement wall unstable and an unreliable support system.
What you will find in some Oklahoma homes are capsule type shelters that are buried into the ground. They are secured by huge cables driven far into the ground and anchored. Most sit a few feet above ground for ventilation and access. These capsules can usually hold up to 6 people.
Some models of these storm shelters or capsules can even be bolted down in a garage.