AMES, Okla. — Cleanup continued well into Tuesday after a pair of strong storms caused damage in the towns of Ames, in Major County, and Kremlin, in Garfield County.

Residents of Ames reported extensive tree damage evening after a storm with strong straight-line winds moved through around 5:30 p.m., damaging utility poles and causing power outages for much of the town. OG&E System Watch listed 362 people in Ames without power Monday evening, and as of 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, 153 OG&E customers in Ames still were listed as being without power. By evening, all power had been restored.

Brandon Thompson, Major County emergency manager, said more than 80 utility poles were downed in the storm. Downed trees also blocked some streets Monday, there were some reports of roof damage to homes and the awning at the Cenex gas station in Ames was damaged, he said.

He said community members pulled together to help county crews clear the streets and pick up limbs Monday.

"The community came together very well, and we got things taken care of as best we could last night," Thompson said Tuesday afternoon, "and they're picking up the pieces today."

Mike Honigsberg, Enid and Garfield County emergency management director, said damage in Garfield County was reported to trees and several outbuildings near Kremlin.

A barn was lifted off its foundation southwest of Kremlin, Honigsberg said, several homes suffered garage door damage, and a fence and playground were damaged at the Kremlin park.

Honigsberg said the storm damage in the Kremlin area appeared to have been from a thunderstorm that collapsed in the area shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, causing strong straight-line winds.

"These things rain themselves out, and when they collapse, it can cause very strong winds," Honigsberg said.

Late Tuesday morning, Mike Streck, of Kremlin, was busy helping his son David clear extensive tree damage at his home west of Kremlin. Mike said both his sons' homes suffered damage, but it was his son Johnny's place that got the worst of it.

About a mile southwest of Kremlin, Johnny was surveying damage and waiting for an insurance adjuster to arrive late Tuesday morning.

He said he, his wife and four kids returned home about 7 p.m. Monday after "Meet the Teacher" night at Kremlin-Hillsdale Elementary School.

"We could see the storm coming," Johnny said, "but luckily, we were able to get inside."

When the wind hit, it collapsed a 14-by-20-foot door on the family's storage shed, and tore off approximately one-third of the metal roof, which ended up in a field about a half mile to the northeast, Johnny said. Collapsing roof trusses and roofing material damaged two vehicles inside, but did not damage a combine also stored in the shed, he said.

While waiting to see if he could repair or would have to rebuild his shed, Johnny said he's just glad his home, just south of the shed, didn't suffer similar damage.

"Luckily, it wasn't my house or my kids," he said. "We're all right. We can rebuild."

It's not the first time the Strecks have had to rebuild after a storm. Johnny said a strong storm, that also caused tornado damage to the Chisholm Trail Expo Center, in April 2009, destroyed his father's shed, about a mile to the northwest.

"It's happened to us before," Johnny said. "But, that's just Oklahoma."

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at
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I am a retired Naval Officer and small business owner, outside of my work at the News & Eagle. My wife Tammy and I enjoy serving together at church and attending Gaslight and ESO. We have two daughters, three dogs and little free time.