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Seminole residents begin recovering after tornado

Oklahoman Larry Jernigen, 62, spent much of Tuesday retelling his near-death experience of riding out a tornado in his pickup.

BY ANN KELLEY Published: May 12, 2010
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/articleid/3460694/1/pictures/937676">Photo - A small airplane rests on its top Tuesday afternoon after being blown out of a hangar at the Jimmie Austin Airport when a tornado touched down on the north side of Seminole on Monday night. Photo by Ann Kelley, The Oklahoman.
A small airplane rests on its top Tuesday afternoon after being blown out of a hangar at the Jimmie Austin Airport when a tornado touched down on the north side of Seminole on Monday night. Photo by Ann Kelley, The Oklahoman.

"I felt like I was going die,” Suarez said.

At the Seminole airport, the tornado ripped off hangar doors and tossed planes several feet.

The airport runway appears to be in good shape, but there is at least $2 million in damage to hangars and the terminal, the Seminole city manager said.

The tornado destroyed a classroom at nearby Varnum Schools. It also caused roof damage in several school buildings, dislodged a concrete baseball dugout and left acres of trees uprooted.

Superintendent John Sheridan said classes for the 268 students will likely be canceled until the end of the week, and possibly next week. All field trips and graduation ceremonies have been put on hold.

Prekindergarten teacher Leigh Ann Azlin on Tuesday hauled a few plastic containers of teaching materials, left untouched by Monday’s storm, out of her classroom.

"I was warned before I got here that it was bad,” Azlin said. "I thought I was prepared, but the sight of it brought me to my knees.”

National Weather Service map of preliminary tornado tracks
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