Ya know, there's nothing like two weeks of severe storms to wake a guy up and make him realize that he hasn't blogged in several months.
The Moore tornado was about 30 miles south of us and we had the 'pleasure' of watching the entire thing unfold on live TV. Now, for folks not from around here, you might here people say that there was hardly any warning. The weather guys had been telling us for about three-four days that we would be have SEVERE (even for around here) storms on Sunday/Monday and they even pinned down the approximate hour of when the Monday tornado started (2 PM). Lots of folks knew when things would start boiling over. But sometimes ya just never know WHERE of how bad they are gonna be.
So, cleanup efforts are underway and a lot of folks are donating to the Red Cross. One thing you need to know about the Red Cross (I have no axe to grind, but I want folks to be aware) is that when they raise money via text messages or really anytime, that money goes into the general disaster fund. Even though they are raising money using photos of the Moore tornado, that money goes into the general fund and not all of that money is guaranteed to be spent in Moore.
I understand they do this in order to have cash on hand when something happens but some folks might not be aware of how this works. When Kevin Durant donated $1m, and the NBA donated $1m and the OKC Thunder donated $1m, and Cheasepeake Energy donated $1m, and Devon energy donated $2.5m it all went into the general fund. I did hear that after this fact came to light, the Red Cross said that they would start earmarking donations.
If you want your donations to stay here locally, you can donate to Serve Moore and it is run by 15+ local churches. And if you're concerned about the folks hit by the storms the day before the Moore tornado, like Little Axe, Shawnee, Bethel Acres, you can get info about donating here.
So last week I headed up to Luther to see if they needed help. Spent the morning picking up a guys garage that had been slung about 100 yards off into the woods and the afternoon was spent walking about 40 acres of oat fields picking up debris that would damage the harvesters (15 ft 2x6, huge roll of steel roofing, car parts, etc.)
This being Oklahoma, storms rolled in again last night and again they were south of us but last night we weird beyond belief. We are used to tornados, but not ones with multiple funnels, all circling around each other. We're used to hail, but not the size of grapefruit (we only got pea sized). We're used to heavy rains, but not 10+ inches in a few hours. And we sure as heck aren't used to all three at the same time. Last night was one big freak-out. Heck, even the twisters didn't behave as normal, tracking due East and even South-East rather than North-East.
So, not unlike Joplin and our own monster twister from May 3rd, '99, we'll be rebuilding from these storms for years and we'll need plenty of help. You might hear people carping about "Why do folks live there?" or "They don't want to help us, why should we help them?". We live here because to us, this is the best place to live and we always have (and always will) head out to help other folks, fixing things after ice storms and floods or taking in displaced hurricane victims. Oklahomans are there because of one reason... We're all humans beings and we help each other.
More content is on the way, stay tuned.