Thursday, April 26, 2012

Church News: "Oklahoma tornado, second time around"

The tornadoes that recently hit Oklahoma took the greatest toll on Woodward, Oklahoma, where six people died and many more were injured. But that was not the first time Woodward has fallen victim to a powerful tornado, as we learn from the latest issue of the Church News. In a story published Monday, we meet Bonnie Reid (pictured), a member of the church who survived the recent Woodward tornado, as well as the 1947 tornado that took the lives of 107 Woodward residents.

Sister Reid fared well in the recent tornado. A resident of the Grace Living Center, she was quickly ushered to safety by a nurse at the center. 1947 was a different story, however:
After the tornado hit Woodward about 8:40 p.m. on April 9, 1947, gas lines started blowing up. Soon, she said, "the whole west side of town was ablaze." 
Her house was spared from serious wind damage, and homeless relatives began knocking on their door. 
"I had 29 people in my house that night, part of them I didn't even know," she recalled. 
Another knock brought a request for all able-bodied men to help search the rubble for survivors. 
She recalled that her husband, who had fought in World War II, "said it was the worst thing he had ever been through."
The Church News story tells of the experiences of other members of the church in the recent tornado, none of whom was injured. The local chapel suffered only minor damage while houses across the street were destroyed.

Let's hope that's the worst of the bad weather for this year!

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