National Weather Service

Developing Threats: Flooding & Tornadoes In Oklahoma

Updated 5:15 p.m.: Tornado spotted near Pocasset, Oklahoma. NWS forecasters have issued a Tornado Warning for Grady County until 5:45 p.m. 5:21 pm CDT Tornado Watch extended now includes Cleveland, Canadian, Oklahoma, Lincoln Counties and south cetrl #okwx pic.twitter.com/821AmZBlrI — Oklahoma Mesonet (@okmesonet) May 23, 2015Updated 4:06 p.m. : Interstate 40 closed due to flooding. I40 EAST AND WEST AT MM 55.5 ARE BOTH SHUT DOWN DUE TO FLOODING ON THE INTERSTATE, THIS WILL BE THE CUSTER...
Read More

On Now

Storm debris piled along 36th Ave. NW just north of Tecumseh Road in Norman
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The City of Norman is starting debris collection Wednesday after tornadoes and straight-line winds caused heavy damage in the northwest part of the city a week ago.

The city is working with TFR Enterprises of Leander, Tex. to remove tree branches, vegetation, trash, and other debris from the street right-of-way, which is definied as an area 15 feet behind the edge of the street. 

Photos and brochures from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle showing Chai and Bamboo, two elephants that will now reside in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden / Facebook

After a 30-hour final leg of their road trip that started more than a month ago, Chai and Bamboo finally pulled into Oklahoma City around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The two Asian elephants from Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo had been in San Diego since April due to a storm that diverted the pachyderms to California.

Update at 1:13 a.m. ET:

Officials have started the process of notifying families, it was announced at a press conference, though it wasn't certain if everyone on the train had been accounted for. The number of injured transported to the hospital was increased to 65, but the number of dead remained at five.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said some major work would have to wait until the morning, as operating some of the heavy machinery in the dark wouldn't be safe. The next press conference also likely will wait until late Wednesday morning, he said.

ok.gov

Oklahoma school districts could allow teachers and staff with certain firearms training to carry handguns on school property under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

The bill is one of 27 measures the governor signed Tuesday. It allows local school boards to designate school employees to carry a handgun on school property if they've attended either an armed security guard or reserve peace officer training program. Supporters say the new law provides some protection from an armed intruder, especially for rural districts.

The dry boat ramp at the Chisholm Trail Ridge Campground on the eastern shore of Waurika Lake.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Before the consistent, heavy rains over the past week, Waurika Lake — the main source of water for Lawton and Duncan — was on the very brink of drying up too much to be used. Years of punishing drought led to the crisis, but what a difference a few days can make.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

A proposal to issue $25 million in bonds to build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa has passed its first legislative hurdle.

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget voted 27-13 Tuesday for legislation that would authorize funding for the museum, known as OKPOP. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Sapulpa introduced the legislation on Monday. He says the $25 million in bonds will be matched with private funds and the proposed museum will be built in Tulsa on donated land.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm
Provided / Continental Resources

Harold Hamm, the founder, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, says he requested a meeting with a state seismologist to get information, not to “bully” a scientist tasked with studying an earthquake surge that has been linked to oil and gas activity.

EnergyWire’s Mike Soraghan reports:

Tulsa County reserve deputy Bob Bates (center) stands outside the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center with his attorney, Clark Brewster, after turning himself in Tuesday morning.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

A top administrator in the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is set to resign after an internal memo was leaked indicating he had covered up the inadequate training of a volunteer deputy who fatally shot a restrained man.

Sheriff's office attorney Meredith Baker said Tuesday that Maj. Tom Huckeby plans to resign on Aug. 1. Baker did not explain why.

Huckeby didn't return requests for comment by the Associated Press. Baker says Huckeby is on vacation.

A Devon Energy disposal well near Stillwater, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission in March ordered the operators of nearly 350 disposal wells to prove their operations weren’t allowing waste fluid to be pumped into a rock formation known to produce earthquakes.

The Corporation Commission has not provided comprehensive records or data related to the operators’ responses to the March directives despite multiple requests by StateImpact. Today, the commission issued a statement that provides a snapshot of the industry’s response to the directives:

The U.S is home to the most Christians in the world, but the number of Americans who identify as Christian is declining, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center. The survey of more than 35,000 Americans also found the number of people who consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion, or "nones," is growing.

According to Pew:

Pages