On February 10th, 2009 at 7:25 P.M. a tornado ripped through the small town of Lone Grove, Oklahoma. Lone Grove had a population of only 4,631 people. I just moved from this small town last year and I was shocked to watch the footage on my local news stations. I was just so worried and wondered if my old neighbors or friends were alive. When I finally got over there and saw the outcome, I was stunned to see how the tornado had shredded everything into rubble. The tornado had done so much damage! There were downed power lines, trees snapped in half, cars turned over, roofs that were ripped off, and destroyed homes. Most of the damage was around the very neighborhood in which I lived for the past seven years. Although my old home was still in tact, my neighbors had their windows blown out and their roof was peeled back. The trailer park off Evergreen, which was one street down from where I lived, was destroyed. There was nothing left of it. There were around 40 homes there and now there’s nothing but piles of rubble. Many residents in Lone Grove described the sound like many trains barreling through the area. Some said it was the scariest time in their lives.
According to the National Weather Service the tornado was classified as an EF4. It had winds up to 170 miles per hour. The half wide tornado moved across Jefferson, Love, Carter, and Murry counties. A dry line that moved across the state along with an upper level disturbance with moist, warm air from the Gulf triggered the storm. Many residents in Lone Grove said they hid in their closets or bathtubs to try to shelter themselves from the storm. Despite some of their efforts the tornado still destroyed their homes. There were over 100 homes destroyed and around 46 people injured. Help came from the Ardmore Police Department and deputy’s from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. They aided the Lone Grove Police in many ways and set up a search team in which they used dogs. They used the dogs to sift through the rubble and to find missing people and families. Many animals were missing as well. Once they searched the area they marked it with an x.
At 5:30 P.M. on February 12th, 2009 the medical examiners office released the names of those who died in the storm. Three of the eight victims were found outside their homes. One person was found on a trailer park road. Another person was found in a field. Two other victims were found inside their homes. The eighth victim was a truck driver who was found underneath his truck off Interstate 35. The eight people that died were Susan Fambrough 54 years old, William Fambrough of 48 years, Tim Nevill of 36 years, Molly Hutchinson of 53 years, Trevor Morgan of only 30 years, Donna McGarvey of 54 years, William Wheat of 78 years, and Gary Boyd Jr. of 39 years. I send my deepest condolences to the families and my prayers go out for you all.
There have been many helping hands in the area. Oklahomans have always helped out a neighbor in times of need. Lone Grove Church of Christ is offering a variety of things. The Church of Christ on Mclish in Ardmore is providing help with food. The First Baptist Church in Lone Grove offering food, clothing, and many necessities. The YWCA of Southern Oklahoma helping with vouchers on medicine and other goods. There is still a lot more help needed. A lot of people lost all their belongings and their homes.
If you would like to donate to the victims of this tornado they can be sent by check to the Salvation Army. The address is 123 A Street S.W. Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401. Another way to donate is to visit online at www.salvationarmyusa.org. Also, you can donate to the American Red Cross of South Central Oklahoma. The address is 1006 Northwest Blvd in Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401. To all those who survived the tornado, I am thankful you are alive and well. My prayers go out to you and I hope you all are blessed with everything you need.