First, the important part–all of my family and coworkers are OK. No serious injuries either. The house has no electricity. It’s about a quarter mile south of the damage path. Our old neighborhood may have been hit. The street names are all from there. I haven’t seen television at all, nor heard much radio since we moved out of the apartment on Saturday. Cox cable was supposed to come out this morning, but for obvious reasons that hasn’t happened. If anybody has tried to email me, I don’t have access to that account right now.
My daughter and I saw the tornado. It was the most awe-inspiring, ugly, terrifying thing I’ve ever seen. It turned the fucking sky black. I was a quarter mile away, and I felt the ground shaking. My wife was in the city on the opposite side of the damage path. Normally, we’d drive from our house nine miles straight north to that location, but we had to drive six miles east, ten miles north, six miles west, and one mile south to get to her. That took three hours, with the cell phones only working intermittently. We got my wife, and none of us had heard from our son. He was at his high school graduation rehearsal when the tornado hit. We didn’t hear about him until around 11:00 PM at my sister’s house. It took seven hours to drive from the old apartments where my wife was to my sister’s house, and we didn’t know about my sister or her family, or my dad, or my son until we got to my sister’s. During this time, we saw first hand the devastation of the Moore Medical Center. It’s destroyed as a functional structure. Supposedly no patients or staff were seriously injured. The credit union, 7/11, bowling alley, and the post office in that vicinity were all destroyed completely. Then we learned that everybody was OK, but that my son’s car had overheated in the stop/go traffic, and he had pulled it over and abandoned it to continue on foot. He was picked up by a couple of Navy Reservists, who took him to a shelter set up in a Baptist church. He called us, and told us that he was in a shelter, and then the connection died. I spent the better part of the night trying to connect with family in other places and let them know we were OK, and My Brother in Law and I got up at five this morning, and drove down to Norman, about 15 miles, found a working gas station, fueled up and filled some gas cans, and bought all the bottled water, and AA batteries we could load in his truck at Wal Mart. We drove back to the city, and made our way to a Baptist church-shelter. We got a list from them of places, and left some water with them. We drove around from shelter to shelter looking for the boy, dropping water and batteries at shelters and checkpoint intersections as we went. By 8:30, we found him in a shelter, perfectly fine, if a little worse for wear. We dropped off half the remaining water, and made our way back to my sister’s house. That took two hours to go three miles. At this point, my wife and I decided that we needed to go to our respective offices, so she left for Norman and had a straight shot in, and I left for the city in the BIL’s truck. It took me about two hours to make it to work. I’m writing this on the work computer.
I haven’t slept or eaten, so I’m going to go do one of those here shortly, and the other after that. I don’t really have much in the way of plans beyond that right now. When I’m done at work with a couple of things, I’ll try to get back to my house to check on it, but it’s very slow going right now. At some point I’ll start doing something more for the community, but finding my boy was priority one.
UPDATE: Current information on employees of OKC VA Medical Center: