Interview with tornado victim: ‘Situation is overwhelming’

Damaged cars are seen in the parking lot of Moore Hospital after a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, May 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters
Damaged cars are seen in the parking lot of Moore Hospital after a tornado struck the city of Moore, Okla. on Monday.
Credit: Reuters

Kate Carney Huston has taken her husband and baby and gone to stay with her mother in Oklahoma City. Due to the tornado, the Huston household, in the suburb of Moore, no longer has water or electricity.

But things could have been much worse. The tornado that ripped through Moore on Monday destroyed the home the Hustons recently moved out of. “We’ve been looking at aerial footage of our old house,” Huston tells Metro. “I pray that the people who moved in there are safe. They have two little girls and another baby on the way.”

When the tornado sirens went off, the Hustons took their baby and their dogs and retreated to their storm cellar. “After a while someone texted me to say that the tornado had passed, so I went outside,” she reports. “The tornado was so big it pretty much filled my view. It felt like a freight train, just a bit steadier.”

The situation right now, she reports, is “so overwhelming that you can’t process it. But you put one foot in front of the other and do what you can. Last night [Monday] it was about recovery of people. Now it’s about recovery of belongings and trying to help your neighbors.” On Tuesday night Moore was still cordoned off, with residents spending hours trying to reach other parts of the city.

Huston is no stranger to tornadoes: They’re a fact of life in Oklahoma, though they usually rip through rural areas. But Huston lived through the 1999 tornado that also hit Moore, and calls this week’s disaster much worse. Even so, she plans to remain in the city: “Oklahoma is a wonderful place to live,” she says. “It’s a great part of the country that’s often overlooked. People here are also very aware of tornado safety. And we’ve got great meteorologists.”


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