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Oklahoma tornadoes: Calumet and El Reno area residents clean up storm debris

Small victories cheer Canadian County residents as they sift what's left of their home.
BY TRICIA PEMBERTON Published: May 26, 2011

Areas north and east of El Reno received heavy damage and homes were damaged or lost in the Skyline Addition and near U.S. 81 and Britton Road, as well as south of Concho, Floyd said.

Some structural damage was reported at Fort Reno west of El Reno.

The Sleepers and their neighbors are in rural Canadian County but have Calumet addresses. The area is about 15 miles west of Oklahoma City.

Miranda Lewis had tears in her eyes as she searched for items to salvage at what had been her home along Maple Road.

“I knew it was bad, just not this bad,” she said.

Lewis' husband and son were in Elk City when the storm struck. She drove four miles to get into a storm cellar with a friend. The storm passed within a half mile of her, she said.

“You could definitely hear it,” she said. “It sounded like a high-pitched scream. Then it got completely still. It took a while to pass.”

There were some triumphs for Lewis as she searched.

She held up a small metal elephant with a curved nail that held her husband's gold wedding band. She also found her wedding dress unscathed and the boots her husband wore to their wedding.

“Now if I find my bouquet,” she said, “that would be a real kicker.”

She also found a board used to mark the height of her son Copper for each of his six years.

Lewis said the family has insurance and the help of family and friends.

Neighbor Roy Ramey said he heard the storm warnings and threw his wife in the truck. He pointed to a dented bumper and broken front window, both damaged by storm debris.

Ramey said he had to shoot one of his horses that suffered a broken leg during the storm. Two other horses were taken to a veterinarian and he was still looking for his two cats. Nothing was left of his house. A red sports car was in a nearby ravine.

The damage is “sickening,” Ramey said.

Amber and Marc Brewster, friends of the Rameys, helped look for anything that could be salvaged.

“I've never seen anything like this before,” Amber Brewster said.

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