Two F 3 tornados swept through the small, rural town of Tushka Oklahoma Thursday, killing two sisters and injuring 25, Salvation Army Capt. Ric Swartz said. Many of Tushka’s residents were saved by the 90 year old underground shelter built right by the Tushka Public School.
“About a quarter of the town’s population — crammed into the main shelter, a 45-foot underground, concrete tube, to seek protection from storms that began in Oklahoma and have killed at least 39 people in five states. There were children and dogs huddled with the adults on the dirt floor, the dank smell of concrete around them. The tornado hit, and for 10 minutes the sound was deafening. A cedar tree crashed to earth near one entrance of the shelter. A car was flipped over and landed next to another. Wind howled down the air vents in the ceiling and stirred up dirt and debris.” (NY Times)
“They were screaming: Get down! Get Down! Protect your head!” Ms. Davis recalled. But they survived! The building overhead did not. Nor did 100 nearby homes.”
The American Red Cross and Rev. Mixon of the Atoka First Baptist Church spoke of the 200 or so children who are now homeless and without a school to call their own. It is not known where classes will resume but 200 Hugs Across America teddies are on the way to help provide a special hug as these youngsters, who have lost so much, adjust to a new reality.
Students stop by to look at what is left of their K -12 school.