A storm packing winds over 80 mph derails a train in a small Oklahoma town

21 July 2023

FAIRMONT, Okla. (AP) — A storm packing winds over 80 miles per hour (130 kilometers per hour) blew through northern Oklahoma early Friday morning, derailing a train, bringing down trees and pushing planes around at an Air Force base.

BNSF Railway told The Associated Press that 29 rail cars derailed near the town of Fairmont while stopped for high winds. BNSF said Friday afternoon that it has crews on site repairing the damage.

BNSF said no one was injured and that no hazardous materials were involved.

Fairmont, with a population of just over 100, is located near Enid, about 90 miles north of Oklahoma City. At Vance Air Force Base in Enid, trees were blown down and planes were pushed around, base spokeswoman Terri Schaefer told the Enid News & Eagle.

Vivek Mahale of the National Weather Service told the newspaper that the highest wind speed recorded from the storm was 84 miles per hour (135 kilometers per hour) gusts at the base.

Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg said there isn’t a weather recording device in the area where the train derailed but he estimated that, according to radar, winds could have reached 90 miles per hour (145 kilometers per hour).

At the Great Plains Co-op west of Enid, one of the grain storage structures collapsed. Co-op officials said it was empty when it collapsed.

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