There’s no way I can start today without taking a moment to talk about yesterday’s destruction.
The biggest thank you to everyone who checked in to make sure I was okay. The monster twister hit about 20 miles southeast of my home, following nearly the same path as what was previously the most powerful tornado on record May 3, 1999. That one happened to be the first tornado I ever experienced after moving to OKC, it was finals week my freshmen year of college and I can remember how terrified I was as we hunkered down pre-cell phone era in the basement of my dorm. I’m not ashamed to admit I was clutching my favorite stuffed animal for comfort.
As bad as that was, this is at least three times worse. The F5 was over two miles wide at one point with winds up to 200 mph. Two elementary schools were leveled, one with luckier students than the other where they’re still recovering tiny bodies. It was on the ground for twenty miles and some people are comparing the destruction to atomic bombs and warfare in the Middle East. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the loss. Landmarks are gone, houses look like piles of matchsticks, there are at least 51 confirmed dead with I can’t even guess how many to come.
I’ve lived in Oklahoma on and off since 1998, and while it’s not where I’m from it is my home. Oklahomans are some of the most resilient people I know. They rebuilt the community after the bombing in ’95 and they rebuilt again after the May 3rd tornado. And we’ll do it again.
If you want to make a donation to help in that effort, text REDCROSS to 90999 and specify OK tornadoes.