The last week has been much of a blur in my life. I will start by saying our house is fine, but our town is in devastation. I want to tell my story though.
Monday, May 20, 2013, started out being a normal Monday. Austin went to school, Dylan played outside, and my husband and I enjoyed our normal Monday together. Weatherman said storms would start popping up along the dry line just west of our town around 1 pm or 2 pm. My husband and I decided it would be a good idea to pick Austin up from school at noon as storms are just not a good situation to get into during pick up time. This way we knew he was safe with us.
Storms started popping up around 2 or so (not sure on exact times) out to our west just like they said. I packed our normal tornado bag. Three outfits per person in our house plus the boys loveys. I do this for every storm that has the potential to have tornados. Something about having that bag packed makes me feel better as I know we will have some things for ourselves if a tornado were to hit.
So about 2:30 pm a storm moves into Newcastle, OK and boom a tornado has formed. Who would have known what devastation it would bring to our town. They then say the Moore area needs to take your tornado precautions as it coming your way. I have lived here 9 years and have been through tornado precautions and nothing has ever happened. The boys climb into the bath tub and I climb in on top of them. My husband places a mattress over us. The boys are screaming because they are scared and I start crying as I have never been through an actual tornado plus my children are frightened. I remember yelling for my husband who was watching the television to see what was happening as the storm was still about 15 minutes away. He comes in and he says they are saying it is coming straight towards our street. He says we have to get out of here this house will not hold up and we will be dead if we stay. So we grab the kids, our bag, and we have to leave our house and dogs behind as the storm is getting closer to us and we need to get out of here.
We start driving south to Norman as there are no storms there and we will be safe. I remember driving down the road and crying because I was sure we would have nothing left. I tried to stay calm but I just could not. I remember having to turn right at a street (my husband was driving) and looking to the north and seeing this huge tornado taking out our town. I was again for sure we had nothing left as the weatherman was saying on the radio it was moving right down our street. I was glad we were out of there and ok. We pulled over at gas station which was full of people from Moore. At this time in my first time ever I heard the weatherman say if you can not get below ground then I sure hope the people in Moore got out of town. Scariest thing ever to hear.
We waited until they said the storm passed. My neighbor rode the storm out in his bathtub with his two children. He called once it had passed and let us know our houses were ok. We drove back to town. Took and hour to get back to our house as traffic was everywhere. We turn on our street and debri is everywhere. I look to our north of our street and major devastation. The tornado hit just three streets to our north. There were ambulances, police cars, helpers everywhere. I was in full on shock.
Then I found out that the tornado hit two schools and there were children still stuck in one of the schools. Seven children age 8 to 9 were killed at school. I knew three of the kids that were stuck in that school but they were fine or as fine as they could be for everything they had to witness. Twenty-four people in total lost their lives during this horrible storm.
We went 6 days without power and after several mental breakdowns on my part as this was the first thing I have ever encountered this bad. We are ok and Moore, Ok will rebuild and be stronger than ever. Prayer is much needed in our town but the way our town has come together during this time is the reason I continue to live here!
These are just a few photos of the area after the tornado hit. Complete Devastation. Some are the day of and others are a few days later.
Please continue to pray for Moore as the community is strong but prayer always helps as those that have lost everything can use it the most.