Tulsa, Oklahoma was hit with what could be called a small tornado Sunday, but the damage and injuries were anything but small. According to police, the EF-2 tornado that took chunks out of buildings estimated that the path of destruction was around six miles long.
The area of Tulsa hit would typically be bustling with people on any given day, but with the damage from the tornado, it will be a while before things are back to normal. Demita Kinard, a Tulsa Police officer said that it is basically a disaster area right now. Scattered along 41st Street are remnants of sheet rock, wood, bricks, and everything else. Power lines were down on top of the debris, and there were still people inside a TGI Friday’s that was saved in.
While the damage is extensive, the people of Tulsa are ready to rebuild. There was no loss of life, but some pretty bad injuries. Kinard stated that about 13 people needed to be rescued, and reports say about 30 people were treated with injuries varying from mild to serious. Looking at the damage, Kinard said it was incredible no one was hurt worse. The tornado caused destruction just about everywhere along its six-mile path. A majority of the damage was isolated to the business stretch of 41st, but a neighborhood nearby was also hit.
One victim, Rick Cole, said he though he heard a loud clap of thunder only to discover a tree had fallen on his home. The tree that fell was in his neighbors yard. It damaged Cole’s roof and two branches as piercing his ceiling. Rebuilding or repairing in the neighborhoods hit by the tornado is expected to get started pretty quick. People were already doing some minor cleaning up of the area, just to feel like they had accomplished something. However, cleanup for the businesses in the area could take months, even longer before their doors are open to customers again.
Right now, the people of Tulsa are ready to get started rebuilding. Homes, businesses, infrastructure along this six-mile strip will be back, and officials are focusing first on clearing the streets and fixing power poles that were splintered in the tornado.
Many people seem to be in good spirits. Even if they lost everything, the fact that there were no deaths is huge to the community. In a tornado area, one never can predict when a twister will hit, where it will hit, or how much damage it can cause. People of this Tulsa neighborhood and business center all feel lucky because it could have been much, much worse.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Twitter