It was eerily similar to two years ago. My phone started blowing up with queries from friends, before the cloud cover had even rolled into Atoka. Quick checks on the radar and pulling up local news, came just in time to hear a tornado was hitting the ground just outside Moore. The storm was devastating and I barely had time to begin to wait for news of rescues when the storms reached our area.
They blew in with a fierceness and speed that scared even me a little bit.
At this point there was no wind and no rain.
Green clouds in behind the lower level and you could feel the temperature drop by about ten degrees or more in the couple minutes since the last photo.
This photo’s taken from the porch! Rain, lightning, storm front, wind, boom! There it was. Four minutes after the top photo. (I didn’t edit these photos at all.)
Two lines of storms meant over an hour in the closet with the children. Glow sticks and fun songs (This Little Light of Mine is a favorite).
This was a crazy odd feeling – when the storm lessened the sunset was visible through the thunderheads giving them an odd red hue.
After the tornadoes that hit Tushka and Atoka last year, we were relieved to have only minor damage and blown limbs in our community, but Moore was not so fortunate. You’ve seen the news – you’ve heard the stories.
I’m aching to help. I know many of you are as well.
Here’s How to Help:
Donate to hand’s on workers – Samaritan’s Purse Ministries has already mobilized two mobile units and will be assisting in cleaning homesites, tarping roofs, and more. You can donate $10 by texting SP to 80888. You’ll get a confirmation msg and just reply “YES”. You can also donate online.
Volunteer to help in person – Samaritan’s Purse Ministries is calling for volunteers to come help in Moore and Shawnee areas. You can fill out the volunteer form here.
Donate to help animals in need – The Pet Food Pantry of OKC is offering dog food, cat food, leashes, collars, food bowls, etc to those in need. (405) 664-2858 www.petfoodpantryokc.org
Contributions to the Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund – can be made securely online at www.TulsaCF.org. Donations can also be mailed to TCF offices at 7030 S. Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK, 74136.
Information For Those in Need:
Lost Pets – If you find displaced animals, you can take them to the Animal Resource Center at 7949 S. I-35 Service Rd. (405) 604-2892. They are also offering displaced people shelter for the night as well.
Injured animals – Benchmark Animal Hospital: Any animals that have been affected by the tornado and need shelter or medical attention, please call our hospital or drop off the animal for our staff to evaluate and treat them. We have a huge facility and can accommodate a significant amount of animals. Please spread the word and keep safe. They can be reached at 405-547-8381.
Shelters for Displaced People –
- University of Oklahoma – student housing (Norman)
- Oklahoma Baptist University – student housing (Shawnee)
- Graceway Baptist Church, located at 1100 S.W. 104th in Oklahoma City.
- Oakcrest Church of Christ at 1111 S.W. 89th Street in Moore.
- Victory Church, located 4300 North MacArthur in Oklahoma City.
- Journey Church in Norman I-35 and Tecumseh Road is open as a shelter.
- Fifth Street Missionary Baptist Church, located at 801 N.E. 5th St. Oklahoma City.
- St. Andrews Church, located at S.W. 119th and May.
How to heal? It will take time. I wrote about the Oklahoman spirit two years ago when tornadoes came through Tushka and Atoka. We rebuild. We remind our children that our neighbors will help us. We check on each other. We lend a hand and send a dollar. We pray. We cry. We heal.