Oklahoma tornadoes: Guthrie man makes it to storm shelter just in time

Tornado damages portions of Guthrie
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: May 24, 2011

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.


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