LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A strong storm system that spawned a tornado, and dumped buckets of rain, left a trail of damage across southwest Oklahoma Sunday evening. The heavy rain caused most of the problems for people in Lawton. The parking lot at Central Mall had dozens of cars were submerged. The downpour simply overwhelmed the drainage system, and the water rose nearly to the windows of some vehicles.
Katelyn Craft was working in the mall when the word spread about the impending storm. She said at first they stayed put because of a tornado warning, but never expected to find her car underwater when she came outside.
"It at least got over my center console, so above seat level," said Craft. "My first thought was, 'Thank God I have an SUV.' And now, it doesn't matter apparently."
By about 8:30 p.m., the water had receded enough for most people to get to their cars, and begin the process of drying out everything that was inside, or having them towed away.
A similar scene on a much smaller scale outside the Apache Casino on East Gore Boulevard. Three cars stalled in the knee-deep water there, forcing police to block traffic in both directions for a couple of hours. Strong winds also created problems across the city.
A power pole on East Lee Boulevard cracked under the strain of 60-mile an hour winds, briefly knocking out the electricity to several customers on the east side.
A video was sent to 7NEWS through Facebook of someone who was stranded on the playground equipment in Mattie Beal Park near 9th Street and I Avenue. First responders had to carry them away. Officials say kids were also stranded on picnic tables at the park, and had to be carried away from the flood waters.
Comanche County Emergency Management officials say 13 water rescues were responded to Sunday evening, but none were life threatening.