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Adam Wilmoth column: Recipients of Oklahoma spirit grateful for helping hands

Energy Editor Adam Wilmoth's mother's home was heavily damaged in Monday's tornado. He has spent the week dealing with downed power lines and heavy traffic, and has experienced the generosity of Oklahomans helping with the cleanup and providing food, water and other provisions.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: May 24, 2013

It has been a long week for my family and so many others in Moore and south Oklahoma City.

Monday's tornado missed my house by less than a half mile, but it made a direct hit on my mom's home in the Westmoor edition.

She lives in one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods, just behind the Orr Family Farm and near Briarwood Elementary.

Unlike most in the area, mom's house still has the brick frame. But much of the roof has collapsed, and ceiling drywall and insulation now litter much of the house.

Mom rode out the storm at her home. She suffered a concussion, but made it out otherwise unscathed.

We have spent the past three days fighting traffic, avoiding downed power lines, wading through debris, talking with insurance companies and moving boxes and furniture.

It has been a difficult week.

But we also have experienced the best of Oklahoma.

Churches, community groups, National Guard troops, local businesses and average citizens have volunteered to brave the same elements and provide help to anyone who needs it.

Everywhere we have been, people have offered food, water, soft drinks and encouragement.

While we have been working at the house trying to salvage as much as we could, people have driven through the neighborhood providing water, hot dogs, cookies and pizza.

These simple gifts have been tremendous encouragements and have saved us valuable time by allowing us to eat without having to leave the neighborhood.

Neighbors also have worked together, sharing tools and helping clean up debris.

Businesses have donated time and services.

One business especially helpful for us was Windsor Door, Siding and Window, which had crews working through the neighborhood helping people gain access to their damaged garage doors.

My mom's car and many of her keepsakes were in the garage, which was the only part of the house that still had most of its roof. But because of the damaged door, we couldn't get them out.

The crew from Windsor helped us and many others.

The cleanup will continue for many weeks and months. I have no doubt that Oklahoma churches, businesses and individuals will continue their efforts.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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