OKC West Livestock Market Takes Direct Hit From Killer Tornado- Updated with Interview with Bill BarnhartSun, 02 Jun 2013 19:35:17 CDT
The OKC West Stockyards was in the direct path of the killer tornado that hit eastern Canadian County on Friday evening. Reports from News9 Helicopter Pilot Jim Gardner indicated that the main building on the property was badly damaged. That was confirmed by a conversation with Bill Barnhart, the General Manager of OKC West.
Barnhart told us that they "took it right in the mouth" from the tornado that came up from the southwest and killed several folks in and around their vehicles.
Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Barnhart on Sunday evening, who told him "it's an absolute mess. All of my buildings are gone. I've got about 65% of my pens are in good shape- the rest will need some repair." Starting Monday morning, they will be removing the debris. Barnhart says it appears that the main scale used in the sale barn survived okay, as did the auctioneer block- because of that he is considering throwing a tent up around the scale and block and selling cattle in a matter of just a few weeks- perhaps right after the Fourth of July. Barnhart cautions that will depend on what is found as the destroyed buildings are removed from the property.
Barnhart was especially happy that no one on the grounds were hurt by the killer tornado- and he told Hays that there were only about 160 cattle at the stockyards on Friday night- and that only a couple had to be put down.
You can hear Hays and Barnhart's conversation recorded on Sunday evening by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Check out our related story that has seveal pictures of the OKC West facility- with major wind damage from the Friday night tornado- our thanks to News9 reporter/anchor Tammy Payne for grabbing these photos for us on Saturday morning.
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