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One year ago, Picher felt tornado's wrath

By Sheila Stogsdill Published: May 1, 2009
PICHER — One year after a tornado ripped through Picher, destroying one-third of an already dwindling Tar Creek community, a city official said there will be no memorial service or marker remembering the seven people who died.

“Most people are just trying to go on and put it behind them as quickly as possible,” said Tim Reeves, Picher mayor.

But there might be some private remembrances.

About 150 people were injured on May 10, 2008.

Those who died were:

- Samuel Don Berry, 20, Picher

- Tracie Dawn Berry, 19, Picher

- Darrell Edward Patterson II, 28, Wagoner

- Chizuri Cox, 80, Picher

- Mistie Dawn Kelley, 30, Picher

- Linda Christine Mathis, 48, Picher.

Margie Irene Seamands, 84, Picher, died later of carbon monoxide poisoning while using a generator after the storm.

The tornado started near Welch in Craig County. After the EF-4 tornado slammed into Picher, 20 blocks were destroyed. Damage was also reported in Peoria and Quapaw.

More than one survivor called Picher a “war zone.”

It was a killer tornado

It was the deadliest tornado in the state since May 3, 1999.

The one-mile wide vortex traveled 92 miles and ended near Neosho, Mo.

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