I’m tired, but we are all OK.

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:

• 1 employee lost an immediate family member in the storm
• 1 employee had an immediate family member severely injured in the storm
• 18 employees have completely lost their homes
• 38 employees have minor to severe damage to their homes
• 14 employees have unknown damage to their homes due to limited access to the area
• 14 employees have yet to be reached; however we continue our efforts to contact them.

The American Red Cross

Safe and well site–someone you know may be registered here

168 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Just great news brother!

  2. 2
    Scott S. says:

    Holy cow, glad y’all are all okay.

    I don’t know whether to call that a nightmare or an adventure or what…

  3. 3
    Bulworth says:

    Wow, what a horrific thing to have to go through. Glad you and the fam are OK.

  4. 4
    Soprano2 says:

    Glad you’re all right, sad for those who have lost loved ones. Tornadoes suck, just ask anyone from Joplin. I live up in Springfield MO, we got a lot of rain and wind last night but lucky for us no tornadoes. I hate nights like last night, you never know when you’re going to have to run for the basement, pets in tow. At least the weather forecasting has gotten a lot better than it was when I was a child, it’s a lot easier to know if you’re in danger.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    So glad you and yours made it through safely. John suspected you’d be out helping others, and he was right.

  6. 6
    Suzanne says:

    Hugs to you and the family. So glad to hear that you’re okay.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    @Soprano2: Taught there one summer.

  8. 8
    the Conster says:

    Thank goodness! You’re the first person I thought of, since you’re the only person I “know” from OK, and it would just be too much irony for me (and a true loss to the world) if you hadn’t made it.

  9. 9
    Birthmarker says:

    Wow. So glad you are able to post-glad on a lot of different levels.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Shit dude, really glad to hear that!

    We were worried.

    Sending you one large manly hug.

  11. 11
    Svensker says:

    Blessings and hosannas! Also, too, hooray!

  12. 12
    Laura says:

    Lurker very glad to hear this news.

  13. 13
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Well done.

  14. 14
    Anne Laurie says:

    Thanks so much for checking in, Sooner! Hope you & yours have seen the worst of this, and that repairs to the infrastructure & the social network go swiftly. Let us know if there’s anything can be done from a distance (besides donating to the Red Cross, and thanks for the link).

  15. 15
    eemom says:

    So glad to hear from you. Very best wishes to you and all your family for recovery and healing.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: Despite my reservations about the RC I dropped a fity on them.

  17. 17
    Anoniminous says:

    Good to hear you and yours are OK.

  18. 18

    Good to know that you are well, I was getting a bit worried.

  19. 19
    Calming Influence says:

    Geez dude, you don’t call, you don’t write – why weren’t you thinking about us? Anyway, all is forgiven, and really glad you’re safe.

  20. 20
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    So happy you and yours are well … so sad for those who have lost loved ones. My home town – Parkersburg, IA – went through it five years ago. I can’t describe the feeling of looking at where a neighborhood I loved once stood, of experiencing the complete inability to identify even the street where one once lived. Again … so glad all is well with you and your family.

  21. 21
    mistermix says:

    Great news – thanks for letting us know!

  22. 22
    The Moar You Know says:

    Good. I’ve done a disaster. Best thing to do is get up and help while you wait for the utility people to get everything working again. That may take quite a while (took us two weeks to get running water back after Loma Prieta. I love tap water!).

  23. 23
    lojasmo says:

    I said many threads ago that you’d be out helping.

    Glad you and yours are well.


  24. 24
    jeffreyw says:

    Yay! Now go take care of yourself and yours. We’ll be fine until you can make it back. Really, go on now.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Wow! just wow! I am so glad that everyone is safe but what a nightmare that had to be . I’m with Anne Laurie, let us know if we can do anything.

  26. 26
    'Niques says:

    Add my name to those who have been worried and hoped you and your family were all ok. We’re proud of you for your expected assistance, and wish you well in the coming days/weeks/months of coping with the devastation.

  27. 27
    celticdragonchick says:

    Thank God you and your family are all right. Be careful out there.

  28. 28
    sacrablue says:

    Happy to hear that you and your family made it through this physically unharmed. Take a deep breath and carry on.

  29. 29
    Punchy says:

    And to think amatuer meteorologists in KC were pissed that they didnt get any twisters. Dumb assholes.

  30. 30
    Seanly says:

    Very glad that you & yours are safe.

    In other news, I’m a little afraid to call my mom to check on my step-father after heart bypass surgery. She was supposed to call family after the procedure yesterday. This is out in CA so, yes, I am stepping on Soonergrunt’s post but it’s starting to weigh on my mind.

  31. 31
    Not my usual nym says:

    Good job finding your kid. Thanks for taking the time to check in with your online community, I know there are more important things on your mind.

  32. 32
    rb says:

    Relieved to hear you’re OK. I’m so sorry your friends and neighbors are going through this.

  33. 33
    DanF says:

    Sorry you (or anyone) had to go through that. Glad you’re safe!

  34. 34
    Shakezula says:

    Eat. Sleep. Repeat as needed.

    Take care.

  35. 35
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Good to hear that you and yours are all right. OK is lucky to have you.

  36. 36
    Calming Influence says:

    Sooner, since you’re on the ground there, how about a PayPal link so we can reimburse you when you buy relief supplies?

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    So glad you are okay. Take care of yourself first so you will be able to take care of those who need your help. Glad you found your son okay.

  38. 38
    Jebediah says:

    So relieved.

  39. 39
    Jebediah says:

    @Calming Influence:
    That’s a good idea.

  40. 40
    Emma says:

    Wonderful news. Take care of yourself and your family.

  41. 41
    superluminar says:

    glad you and loved ones are okay dude. will also donate to RC.

  42. 42
    Karmus says:

    So glad you’re all okay, SG.

  43. 43
    dexwood. says:

    Happy to have read this post.

  44. 44
    Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom says:

    So glad you’re okay, and so is the family. Goddess Bless and keep you. I’m so sorry for the peoples who lost loved ones.

  45. 45
    scav says:

    Good to hear.

  46. 46

    Jesus, Sooner. So glad you and your family are safe.

  47. 47
    Politically Lost says:

    Thank you so much for checking in Sooner. It’s a bit strange…to be so personally invested in knowing that you and yours are OK. But, I was and am.

    Take care.

  48. 48
    ArchTeryx says:

    I’m not particularly religious, and I’ve been studying tornadoes most of my life. But I’ve heard tell that when you get a good hard look at an EF5 tornado, you’re staring into the eyes of the Beast. I find it hard to argue with that after watching the Moore tornado in real time.

    I’m really, really damn glad you and yours are okay.

  49. 49
    ABL says:

    Really glad you and your family is safe, Sooner. Hang in there, brother.

  50. 50
    PurpleGirl says:

    Sir, eat then sleep. Dropping off water and batteries as you looked for your son was a great thing to do.

    I’m very glad you and your family are all okay.

  51. 51

    Thank you for sharing your story – I am glad to hear you and your family are okay after the ordeal. I hope the casualties don’t climb any higher. Best wishes to everyone affected by the storm.

  52. 52
    erlking says:

    Just great news. Glad you’re well. Take care.

  53. 53
    kindness says:

    Good deal Sooner.

    I have an old friend who lives in OK and facebooked her to ask if she was alright. She laughed at me and said she was miles away from the tornadoes and didn’t I know geography? Apparently not OKs.

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @Scott S.: The time after a big event that throws all previous plans out the window, is ‘time out of time’. Everything becomes an adventure, and people mostly become MUCH better than usual. … and then you start going back to work.

  55. 55
    ruemara says:

    Glad you and yours are ok, that’s a hell of an experience. Now I just need to hear from another friend about him and his family.

  56. 56
    lamh35 says:

    Very good news for you and your fam and I’m glad that your son was okay and didn’t have to spend much time in the shelter.

    I never really talk about this much, but my fam and I spent about 2-3 days in a shelter right after Katrina. My extended family were dispersed around a number of shelters in the Southeast Louisiana area. For about 2 day, my mother had no idea if her sisters, brothers, nephews, and mother were okay or not. Katrina hit on Aug 29th, It wasn’t until the 3rd day in the shelter when my uncles and her sisters found her and she learned that my grandmother, her mother died late August 31/early Sept 1st. The next time she saw her mother was at the funeral home where she was waiting for burial (they kept her until they could find ALL her children) and she was buried in cemetary in Thibodaux, LA in a plot that was donated to our family from a local Thibodaux family that had an extra space in their plot. The plot where she was supposed to be buried in NOLA was basically underwater for the foreseeable future. She’s still buried there because we figured why move her. My aunt likes to joke, that we don’t want to move her now that she’s probably made some friends.

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear you and your family are ok. And it’s times like this, I just always tell people cherish who you love ’cause disasters happen and sometimes you just never know how much time ya got.

  57. 57
    max says:

    Well, goddamn. Glad everybody made it OK.

    [‘The kid now has an adventure story to tell his kids.’]

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @ArchTeryx: A friend sent me pictures of a tornado/windstorm that was also on fire. They are called fire-dragons in Australia.


  59. 59
    Baquist says:

    So glad for you and your family. Take care as you and your community put together the peices.

  60. 60
    geg6 says:

    @Politically Lost:

    Yes, I feel the same way. I worried about Sooner and his family all evening yesterday and all day today. A guy I only know by his screen name on the internet. But a good guy who I care about all the same.

    So glad you and yours are doing fine, Sooner! And I’m sending my best positive thought to all your friends and neighbors who are not as lucky.

  61. 61
    Jacquie says:

    Glad you’re ok. Try to stay that way. That is all.

  62. 62
    Rosalita says:

    So happy to hear that you and your family are safe. What a awful thing to go through. Take care!!

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    Glad you and your family are okay. Hang tough.

    Second the suggestion on a Balloon Juice whip-round for expenses. Perhaps people could donate to the existing Balloon Juice PayPal gizmo and Cole could send a lump sum to Sooner? Don’t see Sooner having decent computer/Internet access for a while.

  64. 64
    David Hunt says:

    I’m very glad to read that you and all the family are well. My best wishes to everyone in the area, both to those who are well and, especially, those who aren’t.

  65. 65
    Chat Noir says:

    Glad you’re ok and your family is safe. Kept checking today to see if you were able to check in to the blog. Can’t imagine what this must be like.

  66. 66
    Trollhattan says:

    Yeesh, what an “adventure”–so glad all are okay!

    My thoughts are with those whom the storm didn’t miss.

  67. 67
    Original Lee says:

    Glad you and yours are fine. Found out about some I know there (all OK), but waiting on a couple of others yet.

  68. 68
    gogol's wife says:

    I just got out of a meeting and found this very welcome news. I’ve been thinking of you and praying for OKC.

  69. 69
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    So glad you and your family are ok, so terribly sorry for all those in your wider community who have lost loved ones. Watching the news on this side of the world is just mind boggling. Cyclones are the pits, but not at all like twisters, something to do with being in land locked rather than coastal?
    Take care.

  70. 70
    aimai says:

    Soonergrunt, I’ve been following you since you used to post on DailyKos. I just wish I were close enough to drive in and give you all batteries, food, and a great big hug. Thank god all of you are safe. I can only imagine what you went through not knowing if your son was safe. Mr. Aimai and I will be sending money through the Red Cross. We are thinking of you and yours and your whole state.

  71. 71
    Comrade Mary says:

    SO glad you’re all OK!

    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.

    You and your BIL are mensches. I’m not at all surprised that you’ll be back to do more, but get your rest and food first.

  72. 72
    I, Floridian says:

    Been checking to see how you were–glad you and your family are all right. Hope you get some much-needed rest soon.

  73. 73
    CaseyL says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time from an exhausting and terrifying ordeal of a day to check in with us, when you have much higher priority matters to take care of. Glad to hear you and yours are well and safe; hope things stay that way.

  74. 74
    MikeJ says:


    I just wish I were close enough to drive in and give you all batteries, food, and a great big hug.

    My first thought was, “I have a generator…” then google told me it was 29 hours of driving time at 70mph(and averaging 70 when crossing the two mountain ranges would be tricky).

  75. 75
    Poopyman says:

    Happy to hear all turned out well. Rest and recuperation for everyone!

  76. 76
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I’m glad that you and yours survived the disaster. Stay well and best wishes to your community in their recovery.


    At first I thought Sooner bought supplies to barter his way through the checkpoints and to buy back his son. Then I realized that he was just being a good citizen and helping his community.

    I guess OK hasn’t gone Mad Max yet. Now if this was Texas… ;)

  77. 77
    Dee Loralei says:

    Wonderful news Sooner! I was thinking about you and your family all day yesterday. All my personal Okies are fine, too. Unfortunately my Uncle Abe had a stroke and died this morning. His sons are on their way from CA to Memphis. One son and his girlfriend came for a visit this weekend and returned to SD yesterday evening, and then his dad died today.

    Anyway, I am so glad that clan Grunt is OK!

  78. 78
    kc says:

    God, what a nightmare. Glad you and your family are okay.

  79. 79
    Calming Influence says:

    @MikeJ: Nice thought. Sending the gas money you would have dropped on the trip would probably buy 2 generators. :-)

  80. 80
    Ash Can says:

    Such a relief to hear that you and yours are all OK, and that your new house is still standing. Many thanks for letting us know.

  81. 81
    lamh35 says:

    Just saw your update soonergrunt…damn.

    How many employers does your employers have?

  82. 82
    Trollhattan says:


    Here’s a brief primer on Tornado Alley and why the Chinese will never grab this indiginous American industry. I don’t think it explicitly notes Oklahoma is the most active state in the region, which it evidently is. Personally, I think it’s piling on that several tornado states are also hurricane states.

  83. 83
    rb says:

    @lamh35: I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother and for what your family went through.

    But tell your aunt that she made this anonymous internet acquaintance smile.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    sharl says:

    Ditto what CaseyL said:

    Thank you so much for taking the time from an exhausting and terrifying ordeal of a day to check in with us, when you have much higher priority matters to take care of. Glad to hear you and yours are well and safe; hope things stay that way.

    And yeah, when things (eventually) settle down, please give serious consideration to accepting some direct support from folks here, as suggested upthread. It would be an honor to pitch in.
    In the meantime, off to contribute via other means…

    ETA: Holee shit, just saw your update. Best wishes on the missing turning up OK, and on achieving some sense of functional “normalcy” as soon as possible.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Thank you for the update, Sooner, and indeed good news. We (I don’t think I’m being too presumptuous here by using the first person plural) were worried sick about you and your family as the first reports came in. A quarter of a mile away! WAAAAAAAY too close for comfort.

    Please pass on my sympathies and best wishes to all your coworkers at the VA.

  88. 88
    Betty Cracker says:

    Maybe we can organize a fundraiser for Sooner’s colleagues (or Sooner himself, if need be) who have lost family and possessions. In the meantime, I’m dropping a donation to RC.

  89. 89
    Yatsuno says:

    Frabjous news. And totally agreeing with the calls for rest. You do no one any good when you yourself are exhausted.

  90. 90
    BGinCHI says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe you could Fed Ex sg a chicken.

    Pick the one that misbehaves and you get to both help out and send a stern message to the others.

  91. 91
    YellowJournalism says:

    Good to hear you and yours are okay. Hope you were able to get a good rest and something to nosh since this post!

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    Another country heard from.

    3 cheers for soonergrunt. I love that you’re out buying batteries and water and distributing them.

    You are not missing a thing with all the disaster porn on cable.

  93. 93
    Yatsuno says:

    @BGinCHI: I pick Joan Jett. Just because black chickens are cool.

  94. 94
    BGinCHI says:

    @Yatsuno: I’m guessing Joan Jett is going to tweet “I wish a motherfucker would….”

  95. 95
    Sawgrass Stan says:

    Glad to hear you’re all ok, dumbstruck to hear about everybody else. Like they all said, we knew you’d be out helping if you were ok; Let us know what we can do.

  96. 96
    Soonergrunt says:

    @lamh35: approximately 2000 at the main facility. We have clinics in 11 different locations in the western part of the state, including two in the OKC metro.

  97. 97
    C.S. says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I, for one, would be happy to reimburse Sooner for the water and batteries if anybody sets up anything like that.

  98. 98
    lamh35 says:

    @Soonergrunt: that’s a pretty healthy number of employees.

    The numbers you posted are sad, but thanks goodness it’s not worse for the number of employees ya’ll have. Let’s hope those numbers don’t go up

  99. 99
    daize says:

    Sooner, so glad to hear you and your family are OK. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  100. 100
    Calming Influence says:

    @soonergrunt (mobile): Say again, Soonergrunt. You’re broken and unreadable. [Did you say testies?]

  101. 101
    jeffreyw says:

    @raven: Heh, we always came back with “gotcha lickin chickin, howdy mike, over?”

  102. 102
    Darkrose says:

    Very glad you’re okay. Be safe.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    @jeffreyw: They rarely let me get anywhere near a radio or a authentication book. Hard being in a signal outfit without even a confidential! I was mos def a threat but great at supplying the unit with various commodity’s if you get my drift.

  104. 104
    Elie says:

    Glad that you are well — many here reached out to you last night in our prayers and thoughts and I am thrilled you and your family are well and safe

  105. 105
    JWL says:

    Best to you all from Sonoma County in Northern California.

    Your remarks took me back to life in the Bay Area in the aftermath of the ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake. It appears, however, that you folks took a much heavier hit than any one area did around here that memorable year. The film and photos of yesterdays devastation is horrific.

    It’s a shame you are being ill served by your congressional representatives. I’m glad to say that ours (at least California democrats) will attempt to relieve your distress in proper and decent fashion, i.e, whatever it takes to help get you back on your feet (and the sooner, the better).

  106. 106
    Calming Influence says:

    When I was in the Air Force my specialty require that we were assigned to the hospital squadron (we worked with SR-71 and U-2 pilots, suiting them up and hooking them into their aircraft, running the altitude chamber, etc.). We got used to pretty good treatment by flight surgeons and nurses.

    Soon after I was discharged, I started college and had no health insurance. Then I got into a bike accident and broke my collarbone. My roommate who was ex-Navy took me to the local VA hospital, and it looked pretty rough (I think their funding was near an all-time low at that point).

    Long story short, I’ve rarely felt more cared for than I felt at that place, and have held the VA hospitals in warm regard ever since.

    ETA: Meant to add that If there’s a way we can help you help those in need at the VA, please let us know.

  107. 107
    Baud says:

    Glad you’re safe.

  108. 108
    hildebrand says:

    Good to hear that you and your family are okay. A lot of resources and a profound amount of patience are going to be needed to rebuild. I wish the entire area luck – and will be sending along a donation to Lutheran Disaster Relief – these are good folks, very highly rated, and actually believe that all donations should get into the hands of the people who need it.

  109. 109
    JD Rhoades says:

    Glad you’re okay. That sounds fucking terrifying.

  110. 110
    Angela says:

    I’ve been checking in all day, hoping to hear you and yours were ok. This update has made my day. Sorry for the lost sleep and destruction and pain your community is going to be living through for a while, so glad you and yours have found each other and are OK.

    I think the Paypal link to help pay for relief supplies is a great idea!

  111. 111
    Josie says:

    Thanks for letting us know. So glad you and yours are safe. Sorry for all who lost family, friends and homes. How scary it must have been to search for your son, and how wonderful to find him finally. Stay safe.

  112. 112
    Heirn says:

    So glad to hear that you are well and the family is too.

  113. 113
    Trollhattan says:

    @Calming Influence:

    Were you at Beale? [total thread drift….]

  114. 114
    eric says:

    glad you are ok and i wanted to give myself a shout out for a post earlier today on the gov’t creating the storm.


    While he explained that “natural tornadoes” do exist and that he’s not sure if a government “weather weapon” was involved in the Oklahoma disaster, [Alex] Jones warned nonetheless that the government “can create and steer groups of tornadoes.”

  115. 115
    Calming Influence says:

    @Trollhattan: Yup.

  116. 116
    Trollhattan says:

    Oh for fucks sake, this douche is on the teebee machines? What he WON’T ADMIT is we’ve had supercell storm technology(tm) for decades but have only recently weaponized it to aim at cities. Tehran, we’re looking at you next.

  117. 117
    geg6 says:

    Well, you’ll be happy to know that Alex Jones isn’t sure yet if the Islamofascist near guy used a weather weapon to punish the good conservative people of Oklahoma, including you, Sooner. That blah usurper is more evil than the Penguin.

  118. 118
    BGinCHI says:

    @eric: Dying to see what that tornado steerer looks like up close.

  119. 119
    opie_jeanne says:

    @MikeJ: Yeah, I thought the same thing about driving a generator to them.

    Ours is a bit on the small side. good for only a few hours.

  120. 120
    Calming Influence says:

    @Trollhattan: Young adrenaline junky stationed at the foothills of the Sierras, plenty of opportunities to stop in for a little help from my buddies at the Base Hospital…

  121. 121
    Tonybrown74 says:

    Just wanted to say that I am glad to hear that you and your family are OK. Condolences to all those lost their lives, loved ones, and/or their homes in this storm.

  122. 122
    Trollhattan says:

    @Calming Influence:

    Thought maybe. Just curious as I live in the region and have worked on some base environmental stuff. Seems like a decent spot to be posted, what with the wilds of Lassen Park and Chico at your doorstep.

    @Calming Influence:
    ETA, there ya go.

  123. 123
    Calming Influence says:

    I bet I could be a tornado wrangler. Once.

  124. 124
    Tokyokie says:

    I’m relieved that grunt is OK, but as an Oklahoma native who’s somewhat accustomed to these things, I figured the Soonergrunt blackout yesterday was the result of fubar communications rather personal disaster for a front-pager. As near as I can tell, everybody I know came out of things all right, although a friend (who, luckily, is a meteorologist) saw what was coming and went and collected his son from the daycare that got leveled.

    And to put in a shameless plug for an app another meteorologist friend of mine developed, those who live in tornado-prone areas really should consider getting RadarScope. It allows you to see up-to-the-minute radar images of bad weather in relation to your exact location, and it can literally be a lifesaver.

  125. 125
    mai naem says:

    I don’t mean to sound like a republican but I didn’t want to make any snarky comments until I knew Sooner and his family was ok. I kept on looking at his twitter account yesterday.

    Anyhow, now that he’s ok, Tom Coburn can go DIAF and Inhofe needs to be there so that he can piss on Coburn in a futile attempt to kill the fire being that Coburn’s such a massive gas bag. Also too, I hope some Dem senator puts a secret hold on the emergency funding – secret holds is Coburn’s specialty. Weasely coward.

  126. 126
    maya says:

    Great news to hear, SG. Always enjoy your posts/ comments and will be for awhile longer, happily. I have a favorite charity that I donate monthly to that just happens to be in Oklahoma City. Feed The Children. I even know one man who came out here last April and visited with me. One of the nicest fellows I’ve ever met. They are mainly a food and commodity deliverer through a number of cooperative orgs, here and around the world, especially Africa and Central America. I just made out this month’s check yesterday but hadn’t mailed it yet so I tossed in another $100 just for OK City area.I hope they are all OK too.

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    scav says:

    @Trollhattan: Yeah, if they’d only pull all the vaunted offset money from the military budget, then maybe such dangerous weapons as the supercell storm technology™ wouldn’t exist so as to fall into the hands of the duly elected who will then of course aim them at people so the duly elected can in turn spend still more money on people instead of corporations. It’s all a cunning plot.

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    Suffern ACE says:

    @Trollhattan: Well, we had to test it out first in one of our cities because we didn’t know if tornados could cause a lot of damage until yesterday.

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    Calming Influence says:

    @mai naem: I with ya.

  130. 130
    maya says:

    @Suffern ACE: Hope I’m not giving out classified info but isn’t that called Operation Fail Safe?

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    J. says:

    So glad you and the family are okay!

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    dance around in your bones says:

    What a horrific event. Glad you are ok, soonergrunt, and your family too.

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    scav says:

    Speaking of loons, how about a brief respite by admiring those of other nations.
    Our candidate(s) from the UK: leering attractively at a post SSM monarchical dystopia

    “When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?”
    Norman Tebbit

    With a brief nod to the historian in France who seems to think the best way to protest Sharia-Gay-Marriage in light of GoD!’s law against same is to violate GoD!’s canon ‘gainst self-slaughter at an altar no less.

  134. 134

    Way down here because I was out all day, was so glad to come home to this news.

    Amazing how much you can care about someone you’ve never met.

    I hope you’re able to get some rest and that your missing colleagues are all ok and will be able to check in soon.

  135. 135
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Best of luck. Living in tornado country looks terrifying (he says, sitting on top of an active fault line known as being overdue for a big adjustment).

    BTW, slightly OT – whats the insurance situation in tornado country? Does homeowner insurance usually cover damage from twisters or what?

  136. 136
    opie_jeanne says:

    So glad you’ and yours are safe, just wish everyone else there had such good news.

  137. 137
    Calming Influence says:

    @scav: Dibs on “swivel-eyed loons”.

  138. 138
    Christopher Mathews says:

    BTW, the folks at CAAFlog were asking after you. I shared this link there; glad to hear you’re doing okay.

  139. 139
    No Man says:

    SG– good to hear you are OK.

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    JGabriel says:

    Thank god you’re okay, Soonergrunt. I’m glad to hear that you and you’re family all made it through the tornado with little physical injury.

    My sympathies to your VA co-workers, and … well, really, to all the people who have suffered from this disaster.

  141. 141
    Baud says:


    “When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?”

    The Once and Future Queen.

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    notorious JRT says:

    I am relieved that you are physically unharmed and hope you and yours come through all of this as well as possible. The destruction is in conceivable to those of us looking on from other places in this wide land. Stay safe!

  143. 143
    lectric lady says:


  144. 144
    notorious JRT says:

    This is so true!

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    mcmullje says:

    Wow – how terrifying!!! You are all in my thoughts!

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    MikeJ says:

    BTW, the son’s phone dying points out something. If you live somewhere there can be a natural disaster (and who doesn’t?) get a hand cranked usb recharger. Get several. Keep one in your car, home, office, purse, etc. The voice system will be overloaded like yesterday in OKC, but texts tend to get through.

    You can get them for as little as $10 and Make Magazine even has an article to DIY.

  147. 147
    Throwin Stones says:

    Great news Sooner Grunt!

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    satby says:

    Also relieved to hear all the sooner family is safe; and I’m in for the donation site when we set up the paypal link. ARC is not getting anything from me since I saw from the inside during Katrina how they squander $$, so I need an alternative to support sooner and OK.

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    Trollhattan says:

    VA update is sobering. Best wishes to your colleagues.

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    Calouste says:


    So far the news from the UK is brilliant. They’re getting gay marriage AND the Tories are beating each other up. Best news to come out of that country since Thatcher kicked the bucket.

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    PaminBB says:

    Thanks for checking in and stay well during the difficult days ahead.

  152. 152
    ellie says:

    Glad to hear you and your family are okay.

    lamh35-What you and your family went through is absolutely horrific. But the idea that your grandmother has made new friends made me smile.

  153. 153
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Only JUST saw this, and I devoutly hope you are fed and asleep by now and don’t even see this comment until tomorrow or later in the week, but I join your many other fans and friends in happiness that you and your loved ones emerged unscathed from this horror. Such a relief. It’s really amazing how much we all (mostly) genuinely care about each other despite being (mostly) mere pixels on a screen.

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    Riley's enabler says:

    So relieved to hear you and yours are ok, SG. WHEW. I hope the ensuing days are blessed with patience and good works by friends ans strangers alike.

  155. 155
    Kay says:

    Good to hear from you soonergrunt.

    I listened to the whole thing (hours of driving) and I knew it was bad when they went from “interior room” to “bathtub with a motorcycle helmet” to “get underground”.

    Scary, even to listen to.

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    rikyrah says:

    so happy to see this post. God bless

  157. 157
    Mary G says:

    Happy to hear you are OK and that you at least knew your son was alive and well.

  158. 158
    Jackie says:

    So happy you and yours are safe!

    My daughter and family currently live in eastern TN, but they’re moving “back home” to eastern WA early July. I will be SO glad to not have to send texts saying “Um, do you know you’re under a tornado threat/warning?” And worrying like crazy… When she moved to TN – first to Nashville (2005) then to Greeneville (2010) – I bought her a weather radio for her 1st valentine gift since moving. She thought it was the stupidest gift ever. Then she realized that I was sending the best I Love You gift EVER. I just can’t wait until she, her hubby and my two grandbabies are safely out of Tornado Land. The worst weather we have are heavy-duty winds/dust-storms and occasional heavy snow.

    My heart and prayers so goes out to those impacted by the last 3 days of tornadoes/heavy rainstorms.

    PS: I work for Red Cross Blood Services, and just want to ask all who can donate Whole Blood or Platelets do. There are a lot of Okie’s who need your help. Thank you.

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    chopper says:

    glad you’re okay, SG. having had an F5 hit my town, it’s an eye-opening experience to say the least.

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    Shortstop says:

    Jesus, what a story. Glad y’all are all right.

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    Citizen_X says:

    The house has no electricity. It’s about a quarter mile south of the damage path.

    Jesus. Too close, brother. Glad you and yours are safe.


    Dying to see what that tornado steerer looks like up close.

    Kinda like a zamboni.

  162. 162
    Bill D. says:

    Soonergrunt, glad to hear that you and your family are OK.

  163. 163
    Lyrebird says:

    Yay yay yay yay!

    and good thoughts going out to everyone dealing with the aftermath!

  164. 164
    dww44 says:

    Soonergrunt, so happy that you and all your family are safe. I’m remembering all the discussion about you and your new home at BJ on Monday evening. Don’t recollect that anyone guessed how close you actually were. Please also extend my sympathy to all your co-workers who’ve lost family, friends and homes.

  165. 165
    Gmann says:

    Sooner grunt,

    Glad you and yours are safe. When the fog and haze get thinner and if you ever see me around here, I’d love you thoughts on CERT program. My initial classes begin end of month. . .


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    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    Late to the thread but good to hear you and your family are ok.

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    fidelio says:

    I’m glad to see this–I know what it was like here in Nashville after the tornado in 1998, with much less damage, and just getting around and getting in touch with people is a major task in such circumstances.

    It’s also amazing how much rest, a shower, clean clothes, and a hot meal help people cope in these circumstances. My hat is off to anyone who helps provide these in such times.

  168. 168

    Very, very glad you and yours are okay. I hope you’re getting much-needed sleep.

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