El Reno, Oklahoma
|• Total||79.84 sq mi (206.78 km2)|
|• Land||79.24 sq mi (205.24 km2)|
|• Water||0.59 sq mi (1.54 km2)|
|Elevation||1,358 ft (414 m)|
|• Density||251.95/sq mi (97.28/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1092512|
El Reno is a city in and county seat of Canadian County, Oklahoma, United States. 25 miles (40 km) west of downtown Oklahoma City.As of the 2010 census, the city population was 16,729. The city was begun shortly after the 1889 land rush and named for the nearby Fort Reno. It is located in Central Oklahoma, about
This section needs additional citations for verification .(October 2016)
The city was originally located about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of its present location, on the banks of the North Canadian River. It was named Reno City, and its mail frequently was confused with that directed to Reno, Nevada.
After the second time the town flooded, it was relocated to its present site. As recommended by the US Post Office, the town changed its name, picking El Reno to distinguish it from the Nevada town. (While this means "the reindeer" in Spanish, the town was named after nearby Fort Reno. This had been named to honor a Union Civil War officer (see below).Reindeer are not native to Oklahoma.
The land of Canadian County belonged to the historic Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes at the time of European encounter. In 1874, the United States established a fort to supervise the area and General Philip Sheridan took command. He named it Fort Reno in honor of his friend, Gen. Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in the American Civil War.
El Reno is located on the 98th meridian west, about 25 miles west of Oklahoma City. The eastern side of the meridian was opened to non-Indian settlement in the Land Rush of 1889. The western side was opened in 1892, when the federal government also made some Cheyenne and Arapaho lands available for settlement by non-Native Americans. The town was subsequently selected as the land district office for the 1901 land lottery drawings.
In 1935 Southwestern Federal Reformatory was constructed about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of El Reno. It was originally restricted to young adult male prisoners, aged 18 to 26. In the mid-1970s it was renamed as the Federal Correctional Institution, El Reno (FCI El Reno); at that time, the age limits were lifted, and men of all ages have been incarcerated here. A medium-security prison, it has become the fifth-largest prison in the U.S. The prison is still one of the largest employers in El Reno. In 2015 President Barack Obama visited the prison, the first time a sitting president has visited any federal prison.
During World War II, Fort Reno, about 5 mi (8.0 km) northwest of El Reno, was the site of a prisoner of war camp for Germans and Italians. The POW cemetery has been preserved and has stones bearing the names of German and Italian prisoners who died there.
Following World War II, the US Army determined it did not need the fort. In 1948 the fort was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for use as a research laboratory.The laboratory studies environmentally sustainable forage and livestock production, contributing to preservation of the Great Plains of North America.
At one time, railroads contributed strongly to the city economy. A terminal and repair facility for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI&P or "Rock Island"), which employed a large number of people, was based here. Some 750 of the company's 970 employees in the state worked in El Reno.Due to changes taking place throughout the railroad industry, the CRI&P went bankrupt in 1979. It abandoned the depot and railyards in 1980. The railyards are still vacant.
The former train depot and some other buildings were acquired by the Canadian County Historical Society for adaptive use as part of a museum complex.The 1954 film noir Human Desire includes locomotive and yard scenes filmed in the El Reno rail yards.
El Reno is a Main Street America community. The Oklahoma Main Street Program is a statewide program, part of a national network affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It emphasizes downtown revitalization related to public-private partnerships, with investment in public spaces and design, and overall management of retail mix. The El Reno started its Main Street program in 1988; it was one of four cities in 2006 selected nationally to win the annual Great American Main Street Award.El Reno has used economic development, historic preservation, and creative design to enhance the Rock District of downtown. Its high standards are reflected in having been accredited annually since 2016.
Since 1988 El Reno holds an annual Fried Onion Burger Day Festival in downtown the first Saturday in May. 850 lb (390 kg). The giant burger contains meat, fried onions, sliced pickles, and mustard - all held between two giant buns. Festival goers can get a piece of the monstrosity. Volunteers divide the giant burger into individual-sized portions, and other volunteers deliver the free portions to anyone in the crowd wanting a piece. The fried onion burger dates to the Great Depression, when households added onions to ground hamburger mix to stretch out the meat supply.This event encourages the celebration of art, music, culture, food and community. Visitors can observe the cooking of the world's largest fried onion hamburger, weighing over
In 2001, El Reno was the first city in Oklahoma to re-establish streetcar service in the downtown area: the Heritage Express Trolley. Such service had not been available since 1947, and it was the only operating trolley line in the state that year. Another line has since been started in Oklahoma City. The Heritage Express was installed with aid of a federal transportation grant and as part of a complex project also to improve the downtown's streets and drainage system.
On June 15, 2015, Sid's Diner was featured on the Food Network series Top 5 Restaurants , with their fried-onion burger being highlighted. Sid's Diner has also been featured on the Travel Channel series Man v. Food .
On May 31, 2013, El Reno was hit by a multiple-vortex tornado. The tornado set a record with a width of 2.6 miles (4.2 km). The Weather Channel's Mike Bettes was hit by this storm, but survived it.
Storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and his TWISTEX colleague Carl Young died in the storm near the Regional Airport. Paul Samaras and Young were pulled from their Chevrolet Cobalt by the tornado's subvortex. Tim Samaras was found still buckled in the passenger's seat of the car, next to where Young had been driving.
Local amateur chaser Richard Henderson died in that same area. Before being struck, Henderson took a picture of the tornado from his mobile phone and sent it to a friend.
Dan Robinson of St. Louis, Missouri survived the tornado with few injuries. He was a few hundred meters ahead of the TWISTEX crew.
An EF3 tornado struck southern parts of El Reno on May 25, 2019. Touching down at 10:32 pm, the tornado damaged a service station before moving east-northeastward and crossing Interstate 40. It damaged billboards before striking a motel and a mobile home park at U.S. Highway 81, both of which suffered significant damage. One part of the motel had most of its second-floor walls destroyed, and several mobile homes were destroyed, killing two people and injuring many others. East of Highway 81, the tornado damaged an automobile service building and a house on Route 66. The tornado caused tree damage before dissipating on Alfadale Road north of Route 66. The tornado had a maximum estimated width of 75 yards (69 m) and injured 19 people.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 80.4 square miles (208 km2), of which 80.0 square miles (207 km2) are land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (0.56%) is.
El Reno is located at the interchange of I-40 and U.S. Route 81. At one time, it sat on the boundary between Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, and sits approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the old Chisholm Trail. Jesse Chisholm is buried nearby.[ citation needed ]
In 1952, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck near El Reno, causing damage to several buildings in the city. It is currently Oklahoma's third-strongest earthquake on record, and it was the strongest earthquake in Oklahoma history prior to the November 5, 2011 earthquake near Sparks.[ citation needed ]
El Reno has endured numerous weather-related incidents in recent years:
|Climate data for El Reno, Oklahoma|
|Average high °F (°C)||47.4|
|Average low °F (°C)||23.9|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.0|
|Source 1: weather.com|
|Source 2: Weatherbase.com|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
El Reno is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2010,16,749 people, 5,727 households, and 3,842 families resided in the city. The population density was 202.7 people per square mile (78.3/km2). The 6,484 housing units averaged 81.1 per square mile (31.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.8% White, 11.1% Native American, 7.2% African American, 0.5% Asian, 4.7% from other races, and 4.7% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 12.9% of the population.
Of the 5,727 households, which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were not families. About 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city, the population was distributed as 24.2% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 114.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,200, and for a family was $39,106. Males had a median income of $29,521 versus $20,107 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,570. About 11.4% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
The City of El Reno operates under a council-manager government system. City employees include the city manager, finance director, police chief, fire chief, city clerk, public works director, code enforcement director, community services director, and city librarian.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Federal Correctional Institution, El Reno.
El Reno is served by Interstate 40, US Route 81, US Route 270 (just west of town), and Oklahoma State Highway 66.
Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound Lines.
El Reno Regional Airport (KRQO; FAA ID: RQO), four miles southwest, has a 5600’ x 75’ paved runway.
Commercial air transportation is available at Will Rogers World Airport, about 29 miles southeast.
El Reno is on the route of the AT&L Railroad, which has branches running to Watonga and Bridgeport through Geary, Oklahoma, with overhead trackage rights on Union Pacific to Oklahoma City.Traffic includes grain, fertilizer and agriculture-related products. The town is also directly on Union Pacific's rail line, and the railroad honors El Reno as a “Train Town USA,” one of 131 communities out of 7,300 communities it serves, because of the town’s unique, long-standing relationship with the line.
The El Reno Tribune publishes Wednesday and Sunday and has a circulation around 5,000.
For many years the filmmaker George Kuchar would drive to El Reno to document the storm season, staying at the El Reno Motel. The Result was his film Wild Night in El Reno.
National Register of Historic Places
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This article lists various tornado records. The most "extreme" tornado in recorded history was the Tri-State Tornado, which spread through parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925. It is considered an F5 on the Fujita Scale, even though tornadoes were not ranked on any scale at the time. It holds records for longest path length at 219 miles (352 km), longest duration at about 3½ hours, and fastest forward speed for a significant tornado at 73 mph (117 km/h) anywhere on Earth. In addition, it is the deadliest single tornado in United States history with 695 fatalities. It was also the third-costliest tornado in history at the time, but has been surpassed by several others non-normalized. When costs are normalized for wealth and inflation, it still ranks third today.
A multiple-vortex tornado is a tornado that contains several vortices revolving around, inside of, and as part of the main vortex. The only times multiple vortices may be visible are when the tornado is first forming or when condensation and debris are balanced such that subvortices are apparent without being obscured. They can add over 100 mph to the ground-relative wind in a tornado circulation and are responsible for most cases where narrow arcs of extreme destruction lie right next to weak damage within tornado paths.
Michael Bettes is an American television meteorologist and storm chaser who works for The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a co-host of AMHQ: America's Morning Headquarters. He hosts Weather Underground TV. Bettes has been an on-camera meteorologist for TWC since 2003, and is also an occasional fill-in weather anchor on The Today Show.
Manchester was a small unincorporated community in Kingsbury County in the east-central part of the U.S. state of South Dakota. On June 24, 2003, the town was annihilated by a large F4-rated tornado, and has since become a ghost town. In 2004, the state of South Dakota officially disincorporated the town of Manchester.
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Storm Chasers is an American documentary reality television series that premiered on October 17, 2007, on the Discovery Channel. Produced by Original Media, the program follows several teams of storm chasers as they attempt to intercept tornadoes in Tornado Alley in the United States. The show was canceled at the end of its 5th season by Discovery Communications on January 21, 2012.
TWISTEX was a tornado research experiment that was founded and led by Tim Samaras of Bennett, Colorado, US, that ended in the deaths of three researchers in the 2013 El Reno tornado. The experiment announced in 2015 that there were some plans for future operations, but no additional information has been announced since.
The 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado was a large and exceptionally powerful F5 tornado in which the highest wind speeds ever measured globally were recorded at 301 ± 20 miles per hour (484 ± 32 km/h) by a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar. Considered the strongest tornado ever recorded to have affected the metropolitan area, the tornado devastated southern portions of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, along with surrounding suburbs and towns to the south and southwest of the city during the early evening of Monday, May 3, 1999. The tornado covered 38 miles (61 km) during its 85-minute existence, destroying thousands of homes, killing 36 people, and leaving US$1 billion in damage, ranking it as the fifth-costliest on record not accounting for inflation.
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The tornado outbreak of May 26–31, 2013 was a prolonged and widespread tornadic event that affected a large portion of the United States. The outbreak was the result of a slow-moving but powerful storm system that produced several strong tornadoes across the Great Plains states, especially in Kansas and Oklahoma. Other strong tornadoes caused severe damage in Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan. The outbreak extended as far east as Upstate New York. 27 fatalities were reported in total, with nine resulting from tornadoes.
Timothy Michael Samaras was an American engineer and storm chaser best known for his field research on tornadoes and time on the Discovery Channel show, Storm Chasers. He was killed in the 2013 El Reno tornado.
During the early evening of Friday, May 31, 2013, a very large and powerful tornado occurred over rural areas of Central Oklahoma. This rain-wrapped, multiple-vortex tornado was the widest tornado ever recorded and was part of a larger weather system that produced dozens of tornadoes over the preceding days. The tornado initially touched down at 6:03 p.m. Central Daylight Time (2303 UTC) about 8.3 miles (13.4 km) west-southwest of El Reno, rapidly growing in size and becoming more violent as it tracked through central portions of Canadian County. Remaining over mostly open terrain, the tornado did not impact many structures; however, measurements from mobile weather radars revealed extreme winds up to 302 mph (486 km/h) within the vortex; these are the highest observed wind speeds on Earth, ahead of the 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado with slightly higher wind speeds. As it crossed U.S. Highway 81, it had grown to a record-breaking width of 2.6 miles (4.2 km). Turning northeastward, the tornado soon weakened. Upon crossing Interstate 40, the tornado dissipated around 6:43 p.m. CDT (2343 UTC), after tracking for 16.2 miles (26.1 km), it avoided affecting the more densely populated areas near and within the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
Tornado Chasers is an American documentary series that premiered on September 19, 2012 on TVNweather.com. The program follows Reed Timmer and his team of storm chasers as they attempt to intercept tornadoes in Tornado Alley in the United States and Canada. Season 2, funded largely through a successful Kickstarter campaign, commenced on September 30, 2013. The series is a two-time Webby Award Honoree, once for Best Documentary Series in 2013, and again for Best Editing in 2014.
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