Tornado cleanup continues in Oklahomas hardest hit areas

Cleanup from Monday's tornadoes continues in Pottawatomie County and other areas of Oklahoma.

BY ANN KELLEY Modified: May 13, 2010 at 9:19 am •  Published: May 13, 2010

TECUMSEH — Some Tecumseh residents say there is an American Indian myth professing their city is protected against tornadoes because it’s between two rivers and named after an Indian chief.

This week, that myth was debunked, said Melvin Potter, the city’s emergency management director.

"As crazy as it sounds, it did sort of give people a false sense of security,” Potter said.

The hum of chainsaws and the pounding of hammers could be heard throughout the city Wednesday as fallen trees were cleared and debris hauled curbside.

Lowe’s home improvement store was among several businesses that donated plywood, tarps, nails and materials for homeowners to secure their property.

Tornado victims were not alone with the cleanup. Volunteers with local churches, civic clubs and individuals with no affiliation to any group came to help.

Evan Stokes, 21, a church missionary from Utah, hauled lumber from a flattened home. Tecumseh High School students Bailey Cleere and Chelsea Williams rode on the tailgate of a pickup passing out water and warm snacks.

Potter said catastrophes like this bring out both the good and bad in people.

A family whose home was destroyed by a tornado had horse equipment stolen from their barn this week, he said.

To protect against theft and looting, officers have been enlisted from other counties to help patrol damaged areas throughout the county, Potter said. A curfew is in place from 9 p. Ongoing Coverage: May 10 tornadoes

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