Oklahoma Tornado Assessment by PCS

By Ted Gregory  |  March 31, 2015

A severe tornado ripped through the Tulsa, Oklahoma area on March 25 resulting in one fatality and extended property damage. As a result of the storm’s impact, Property Claim Services (PCS) issued a catastrophe designation – CAT 70 – for this severe weather event. I visited the affected area on March 27, and reached out to independent adjusting firms to obtain ground information and conduct ride-alongs to view damage. The destruction I witnessed was significant. Below are some of my observations for the damage at the Sand Springs, Oklahoma Mobile Home Park:

Restoration companies trying to board up and salvage homes that can potentially be repaired. Power lines snapped in half. Trees – with trunks more than two feet in diameter – uprooted. Homes, which were once tied down to foundations, lifted on top of other homes and vehicles. Travel trailers lifted by wind had landed on top of homes. Vehicles with windows blown out from airborne debris during the tornado. Carpeting, siding, and home fixtures blown 20 to 30 feet up onto tree limbs.

When I visited Tulsa, I saw additional devastation:

Commercial structures damaged; for example, Aim High Academy, a faith based gym for underprivileged children, was destroyed. Homes on the streets nearby Aim High Academy also suffered heavy damages with roofs missing, broken windows and trees lying on homes.

As part of the work that PCS does during catastrophe assessment, I also met with representatives of insurance companies at their Mobile Response Units in Sand Springs.

PCS will continue collecting information about CAT 70’s damages and thereby form a more refined loss estimate for the event. As April is historically a month when we watch for tornadoes, there may be more storms coming.

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Ted Gregory

Ted Gregory is manager, Property Claim Services (PCS). PCS is a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.