Saturday the 21st of October saw tickets to the Beach Boys show sell out in minutes. The show as planned kicked off at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma. However, the concert was short lived as a small tornado interrupted the show.
Wrath of the Oklahoma Tornado
The tornado led a path of destruction as it ripped the roof off of the casino. To a long list of damages, the Riverwind Casino can add over 800 damaged slots, video poker and gaming machines.
Due to safety concerns one of the nearby hotels that is connected to the Oklahoma casino, has to relocate their guests for the weekend. The resort questioned the safety of their guests after windows were broken and large pieces of the hotel’s facade had blown away.
Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma, was one of the many fans standing in the crowd at the Beach Boys concert on Saturday. When the tornado hit, the concert full of fans and performers, was evacuated. Fallin expresses to reporters that she was sent a warning of a possible tornado earlier that day. She goes on to say that when she looked toward the balcony she noticed a flood of rain water coming through the hall of the concert. Due to the concerns of the casino staff, the concert patrons were moved out in case the torrential rains caused the roof to collapse.
Oklahoma Casino Officials
After the show had been evacuated of all guests, casino officials were free to comment. They explain that due to the fact that they were worried about their guests and staff, they needed to take the weather very seriously. They go on to say that, unfortunately in circumstances like these, tornados can hit without warning, in this case it happened to hit the Riverwind Casino.
Spokesperson for Riverwind, Kym Koch claims that although they were aware of storms within the area. However, they didn’t have enough time to react. She expresses that the crew was ensuring that all of the necessary precautions were put into place. Yet, they only received a warning for the tornado when it was practically on top of them.
Alongside many of the casino games being damaged, the restaurant was also not in operation during the course of Saturday evening. But that didn’t stop the casino, with their quick thinking, they ordered a food truck to bring in food to hungry guests that had made reservations at the restaurant.
Overall, no deaths or injuries were reported from this tornado. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado is considered to be a mild one. Although it’s winds are capable of reaching 110mph. By late Sunday evening, most of the casinos operations were on their way to run as per usual. Koch states that the casino’s hotel will start accepting reservations later on in the week. Further, there has been no word as of yet as to whether or not the Beach Boys are prepared to reschedule the concert.