GUTHRIE — Johnny Hannah sat on his front patio overlooking a golf course Tuesday afternoon as a tornado hidden in heavy rain raced toward him.
He didn't realize the imminent danger until cedar limbs and other spinning debris drove him into the tornado shelter in his
He got inside just in time.
“My garage door started buckling so much, and the debris sounded like giant hail,” said Hannah, 63.
Hannah, his wife and his brother-in-law huddled in the shelter until the noise quieted.
“I opened up the cellar door and I could see sky and I thought, ‘Oh, we've got problems,'” he said.
Hannah's brick home was destroyed. Blown out windows, toppled walls and debris littered the
His was one of at least eight homes that were destroyed or damaged in the neighborhood near the Cedar Valley Golf Course.
Twenty minutes before the tornado struck his home, he was on the phone with his sister, who had just lost her home to the same tornado when it was 30 miles to the southwest in Piedmont.
“She was just inconsolable,” he said.
“What's the chances of a brother and sister both losing their homes?”
Electricity was disrupted Tuesday evening in Guthrie as residents cleaned up damage.
The city's public works complex and animal shelter were damaged. Sixty dogs at the center were being sent to an animal shelter in Edmond, said Police Chief Damon Devereaux. No injuries were reported.
The high school was damaged, prompting school officials to end the school year three days early.
The walls and roof of the weight room were gone, but all the weight equipment and trophies were still in place.
In a rural area of Guthrie, three homes, a farm equipment barn and an airplane hanger were destroyed.
Kiley Witte, 34, stacked meat from his freezer in what used to be his living room. Family members searched the rubble to salvage photographs and other valuables.
“I don't know exactly what to do with all this,” he said.
Witte said he headed for a storm shelter when the electricity went out. Insulation and hay started blowing through the shelter's air duct as the twister moved through.
Across the street, siblings Rebecca Abel, 15, and Nathanial Abel, 12, dug through the rubble of their home. Rebecca Abel said she was looking for her mandolin and violin. Her brother searched for the family's guns.
As the family picked through the debris, one of their pet birds chirped and sang. Their other three pet birds were missing.