NW residents in Okla. take cover as tornadoes strike

PORTLAND, Ore. - The entire University of Washington women's softball team is in Oklahoma City for the College Softball World Series.

The team camped out in a parking garage after being evacuated from their hotel room as tornadoes touched down near the city.

Another couple who'd traveled down to Oklahoma City heard the warnings and got out of Dodge before the super cell moved in.

And Glori Whithorn of Vancouver, Wash. spent the day taking cover in a closet.

"Tornadoes were wrapped in rain, and so you even couldn't see them coming, and then they were just right on top of you," she said by phone Friday night.

She was visiting her daughter.

"I lost track of how many tornadoes went down. It was incredible," she said.

The University of Washington softball team was staying in downtown Oklahoma City just a few miles from Whithorn when they had to take cover.

"It was scary," said Alyssa Olveda, the softball team's communication director. "Some of the girls were really scared but most of the girls were able to talk to their parents."

She said when the hotel sirens went off, everyone went to the basement.

Some of the Huskies' biggest fans, a couple from Portland who drove to Oklahoma City to see the softball World Series games, raced away from the storm in their RV when they got the warning.

"We had the two-hour warning that the super cell was coming in and there would be hail the size of softballs and grapefruits," Linda Palaske said.

She said she was just "happy to be the hell out of there."