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Hundreds remain without power after Quapaw tornado in northeast Oklahoma

Quapaw High School students have donated senior trip funds to help with the tornado recovery effort.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL, For The Oklahoman Published: April 30, 2014
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— Those recovering from the tornado that struck Quapaw on Sunday will get a financial boost from the town’s high school students.

Members of the Quapaw High School senior class took funds earmarked for their senior trip and donated the money to a tornado recovery fund for their community, Quapaw Police Chief Gary Graham said Tuesday.

“They were supposed to leave Friday for Texas; instead the class donated $2,000 to the Quapaw Citizen Recovery Fund,” Graham said. The account was established at First State Bank of Commerce.

With estimated peak winds of 115 to 125 mph, the tornado struck Quapaw around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, destroying five businesses and 15 homes in the community. Another 50 homes and businesses were damaged.

John Brown, 68, of Baxter Springs, Kan., died from blunt force injuries to the chest when a large concrete wall fell onto his vehicle.

The storm crossed the state line and hit Baxter Springs, where more than 100 homes and about two dozen businesses were destroyed.

Graham said cleanup in Quapaw, which is in far northeast Oklahoma, is going well.

“There are still a lot of people without power, but a small number of residents had their power restored,” he said.

Monday, the Empire District Electric Co. reported that approximately 1,300 customers in the Quapaw and Baxter Springs areas were without power.

Sheila Stogsdill, For The Oklahoman