Tornado Reflections (May, 2013 in Edmond & Moore)

With the tornados this week in Edmond, Luther, Shawnee, Carney and of course Moore, it’s just not the week to write about tech. I live in Edmond and a tornado came within 1/2 mile of our house Sunday afternoon, May 19. I was keeping my eye on the TV and even had our under-the-stairs-closet ready to dive in with my dog, Sophie along with a few supplies. My husband was at a meeting at the church building and had called me from there. I heard the TV guy say, it sure is an interesting formation in Edmond right around 33rd & Bryant and it’s… then the power went out and Sophie and I went in the closet! It was very still, very little rain and no hail. We waited a while and then came out. I didn’t hear a thing right around here.

Shortly afterwards, I got a couple of text messages from friends and family asking if we were OK and that’s when I found out one had gone through some neighborhoods to the north of us. When Doug got home, we got in the car and did a little tour and found so many huge trees down in the neighborhood next to us.

Edmond Tornado, May 2013Edmond Tornado, May 2013Edmond Tornado, May 2013

The video is more up close to the damage with fallen trees very close to the road – you’ll hear chainsaws going, and this was just an hour or two after the tornado went through.

Tornado damage, May 19, 2013

Then Monday came along with many warnings that it was prime tornado-making weather. It was already muggy and warm early in the morning with lots of clouds. I turned the TV on in the early afternoon as clouds looked more and more threatening and I knew all the local stations would be in full weather broadcast mode with helicopters and every available news person and accompanying camera man spread all over the metro and parts of the state. The video of that huge, black mass of destruction hitting Moore, Oklahoma was incredible and it was horrible to watch. I’d check the #okwx Twitter stream to get up to the second information and see photos. I passed along a few tweets of information I thought would be helpful, but mostly felt helpless and sickened by the damage I knew it was doing.

Then Oklahoma became the national news target once again with every national and cable channel represented here for a couple of days. I was proud of our Governor, Mary Fallin as well as the first responders and city officials. Things were well organized in a short time. The over-flowing of prayers, money, food, supplies and volunteers hasn’t stopped and won’t until the need is gone. Oklahomans have a history of being incredibly generous and giving and I see it time after time.

To bring technology into the picture here at the end, it was interesting that the plain-old SMS, or text message became the go-to communication vehicle during the Moore crisis. With no power, that meant land lines were gone and the cell towers were strained to the max so the news outlets let the people know to use texting to let people know their status.

Here are some resources to get information and links on how to donate to the Tornado Relief. I think it’s effective and worth-while donating through our church.

Great Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MooreTornado?hc_location=stream

Website: http://www.ok.gov/okstrong/

Local Radio: http://www.ktok.com/main.html    http://www.kokcradio.com/

Do be careful when you donate as there are always the scammers out after tragedies.

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