Iowa Hawkeyes in Okla. City nervous about Tulsa tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Hawkeyes in Okla. City nervous about Tulsa tornado

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KWWL) - In the first strong bout of severe weather this season, tornadoes and strong winds turned areas of Oklahoma upside down -- and unnerved the Iowa Hawkeyes getting ready for the Sweet Sixteen.

Storms ripped apart schools, homes and even a large radio tower.

In Oklahoma City, just over an hour from where the worst storms hit, the Iowa women's basketball team sat down for dinner.

Oklahoma natives on the team know the area, and helped calm nerves.

"I think we even had an analogy, like, 'This is a tornado in North Liberty moving away from Iowa City,'" says the team's director of operations Abby Emmert. "That helped us put things in perspective where the tornado actually was."

No tornadoes were in Oklahoma City, but teammates say the thunderstorm that was with them was strong.

"The coaches kept coming up to us and explaining what was going on. It calmed a lot of people down," says forward Christina Buttenham. "We got a warning on our phone and stuff."

But the storms weren't the team's only obstacle.

"Actually, our sign outside of the restaurant started on fire," says forward Kali Peschel. "We had the whole fire station there, so we were in a little bit of a predicament."

Everyone got out of the restaurant OK, but still a long day for the Hawkeyes.
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