ARDMORE — The killer tornado that swept through Lone Grove on Tuesday also caused extensive damage in a north Ardmore neighborhood. Officials said eight to 10 homes in the upscale Majestic Hills subdivision and one private school were destroyed by the storm, with 10 homes sustaining about a 50 percent loss and another dozen or so homes receiving notable damage. Ardmore City Commissioner Bob Geurin said no one is really focusing on the devastation at Majestic Hills because there was no loss of life, but he said the people there are hurting just as bad as others who lost everything. "A lot of people didn’t even know this one happened,” he said. "We had some people trying to get home, who couldn’t, so they went walking through the woods. "They advised them against it, because it was so dangerous, but if you have a wife and kid in a house that might not be there any more, they’re gonna get in there somehow, come hell or high water,” he said. Rick Pack, a local hospital chief executive, said he and his wife were home when the storm hit and barely had time to make it to their tornado shelter. "We had no idea this was coming,” he said, adding that the last newscast he heard said the storm was 25 miles away and Ardmore was not in the path of the storm. "There just wasn’t any warning.” Pack got a call from a family member in Oklahoma City warning that the tornado was headed directly for them, so he and his wife and six neighbors gathered what they could and headed for the underground shelter. As the storm hit, Pack said his friends and family were scared for their lives. "They say that it sounds like a freight train, but that doesn’t do it justice,” he said. "It sounded like 1,000 trains. The whole shelter shook, and it felt like it was going to rip us right out of the ground.” And everyone in the shelter knew at that moment, that when they opened that shelter door, nothing would be left. "This is the monster that comes in the night,” he said. "We knew we had lost everything. It was the most awesome, violent power we had ever seen, but we also knew there was a greater power that kept it from killing us. Everything else is just material.”
School razedDown the road, officials with Ardmore Adventist Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist private school, lost their school building. School treasurer Darvin Hartzo said the school of 17 students was gone, but school officials wasted no time getting their flagpole back in place to fly the American flag as a symbol of hope. "Our school is gone, but we’re not going to let the small stuff bother us,” he said. "We’ll use the church hall until we find a better solution, but we will prevail. Our kids are ready to start over and most importantly, no one was hurt. We’ll come out of this.” The school’s pecan orchard isn’t salvageable, though. "We lost all of our pecan trees, and that’s hard because we made a nice profit from those pecans every year for the school,” he said. "Now we don’t have anything except firewood.”
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MAP: Flash map of the tornado's path. The tornado's path