Oklahoma tornado: Denial of federal disaster aid will add to toll of Woodward cleanup

Authorities said workers are worn out after a week of cleanup following Sunday's tornado in Woodward.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: April 21, 2012

“It has been an extremely long week,” he said. “We're all starting to get pretty run down. Thank God for the volunteers or we would have been run down a long time ago.”

American Red Cross spokesman Rusty Surette said more volunteer help will be coming this weekend. The Red Cross is hosting an orientation and training for volunteers at 9 a.m. Saturday at the agency's Woodward office, 1209 Ninth St.

“Anytime something like this happens, we have a number of people who want to step forward and help out,” Surette said. “We are really hoping to see a lot of people who live in that area.”

Surette said volunteers will learn how to serve meals, deliver relief supplies and work at a shelter.

Lehenbauer said local businesses and community leaders have stepped forward with financial help.

One immediate need is fixing the city's storm siren system for the next potential round of deadly weather, he said.

“We lost about a third of our sirens in the tornado,” Lehenbauer said.

“We are working with several companies to try to get our system in place and enhanced as quickly as possible.”

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