The community of Woodward just marked the first anniversary of the April 15, 2012 tornado that destroyed 87 homes, 13 businesses and claimed six lives. On Tuesday, members of the House and Senate paused to honor former Woodward firefighter and News 9 storm tracker Marty Logan, and the station’s weather team, for helping warn Woodward residents that the deadly storm was headed their way.
Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, told members of the Senate that several tornadoes had touched down on Saturday the 14th causing damage, but no fatalities. He recalled that later in the evening, many stations had ended their severe weather coverage and their storm chasers had gone home. But shortly before midnight, News 9 meteorologist Michael Armstrong notified Logan of possible rotation southwest of Woodward.
“The earlier storms had taken out Woodward’s sirens. But when Marty spotted the tornado, he and News 9’s Gary England were on the air, warning people in harm’s way and asking others to phone those in the storm’s path who were still sleeping,” Marlatt said. “If it hadn’t been for Marty, I’m convinced many more lives would have been lost that night.”
Marlatt, along with Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher, and Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne, co-authored a Citation commending Logan for his heroic coverage, along with the News 9 weather team, including chief meteorologist Gary England and meteorologist Michael Armstrong.
“Because of the News 9 weather team, Marty Logan was the only storm tracker in the right place at the right time,” Hickman said. “He was able to calmly report where the tornado was and where it was heading. Marty’s bravery and professionalism saved lives.”
England, who has been with the Oklahoma City CBS affiliate for 40 years, joined Logan on the floor of the Senate. England said he’d worked with Logan as a storm tracker for 20 years, and told the members of the Senate that Logan’s coverage of the Woodward tornado was “amazing.” He said the only thing on the screen was a couple of radar images and Marty’s voice.
“It was the most powerful television I’ve ever seen in my life, to not have video,” England said. “Marty literally walked that tornado through Woodward all the time saying where it was, what it was, and where it was going. We know he saved a lot of lives that night and I’m proud to know him.”
Logan told lawmakers, “I’m honored to be here standing in front of you. As Gary said, we’ve known each other for 20 years…it’s been a long ride, it’s been a fun ride. I’m glad to have him as a friend and boss, and I thank you very much.”
For more information contact:
Sen. Marlatt: (405) 521-5626