Severe storms cause damage in county

Strong storms blew through the northern portion of LeFlore County Thursday evening leaving downed trees and power lines in their wake. At about 6 p.m., the National Weather Service warned towns north of Poteau to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Not long after, several residents in Panama and Poteau found themselves without electricity."The 911 center relied on backup generators all night," said Emergency Management Director Michael Davidson. According to police, about 150 people were without electricity in Panama and an unknown number in Poteau. Davidson received reports of trees blown over in Pocola and Panama and a large sign in the Poteau Braum's parking lot was felled by the wind, narrowly missing parked cars. Davidson said the strongest wind gust recorded during Thursday's storms was at Panama at 50 mph. According to the National Weather Service, a 20-50 percent chance for more thunderstorms in LeFlore County has been forecast for the next seven days.