April 2011 Column Winner

April Breaks Hearts

Faith Wylie, Oologah Lake Leader

April showers?
Not here. April brings violent storms and heart-breaking memories.
Traveling back in time to the Oologah tornado has been a bumpy journey.
Stories of strength and perseverance have reminded us of the courage and character of our community. But the stories have also raised twinges of the pain of those days.
News reports also remind us of the Branch Davidian tragedy at Waco 18 years ago, and the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City 16 years ago.
As we are pelted by hail, we recall the sounds of the Oologah tornado and the horrible 2007 ice storm.
It’s all just too personal. It makes us dread April.
Most adults here know people who lost their homes on April 26, 1991 and someone who lost a loved one on April 19, 1995.
For me, there is a personal loss. I was finishing billing so I could visit my father one last time. The tornado disrupted my plans. I did not make it in time. Those 24 hours were the worst in my life.
But it was worse for others.
At least the Oologah tornado, unlike the Murrah bombing, was an act of nature.
As we confronted nature at its worst, we saw human nature at its best.
I am reminded of the people who donated time, meals, money, cars and campers for the storm survivors.
Who can forget our tough families who lived in campers beside their demolished homes and washed their hair with a garden hose?
The telephone company installed jacks on outside poles so families could have a phone at their home site. The phone rang in the yard. (Cell phones were not common 20 years ago.)
The post office held mail until rural boxes could be replaced. Carriers kept track of those living with family and neighbors so they could get their mail.
We were stretched to our limit. We did not break.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Gizem wrote:
Most tornadoes have wind sdeeps less than 110 miles per hour (177 km/h)The most extreme can attain wind sdeeps of more than 300 mph (480 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).[laky busion was the worst tornado ever

Sun, August 26, 2012 @ 8:48 PM

2. gdspylqzs wrote:
znhQSv igzhntygumez

Mon, August 27, 2012 @ 1:31 AM

3. Nina wrote:
Thank you for sharing this video. This video was shot lcloaly by students in the University of Alabama's Adverting/Public Relations and Telecommunications and Fill departments. This video was shot in June of 2011, so you can clearly see relief efforts are still badly needed since the April 27th storm.-Mike Devlin, producer of The New Normal

Wed, September 19, 2012 @ 1:03 AM

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