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Survivor Story: Margie and Terry West

By Carla Hinton Modified: May 1, 2009 at 3:42 pm •  Published: May 1, 2009
MUSTANG — Margie and Terry West are comfortable sitting out on the porch of their home in this growing Canadian County city these days.

For the Wests, Mustang became a refuge that turned into a new home after the May 3, 1999, tornado severely damaged their Moore residence.

The Wests were living in Moore's Regency Park housing addition on the day the tornado tore into their quiet existence.

Margie West, 70, said she remembers her daughter, Shelley, calling her that day to tell her mother about an uneasy feeling she had.

The two had planned to go to a crafters' exhibition in Arkansas where they were to sell dolls and doll merchandise. Margie West said she had the TV turned on, and when the TV weathermen began to urge Moore residents to take immediate shelter, that's just what the family did.

West said she and her husband, Shelley and her husband and son, and a neighbor got into the family's underground shelter.

“We could feel that storm shelter vibrating. It sounded like a lot of jet engines going at the same time,” she said.

Terry West said he was the first to climb out of the shelter and see the devastation.

“I said, ‘We'll be fine as long as we keep our eyes on God,'” he said.

Margie West said she was to remember her husband's words in the days, weeks and months ahead as the family relied on their faith in the Lord to get through difficult times.

Margie West's eyes welled with tears as she described being the first to find the body of a young neighbor who was killed by the tornado.

However, the couple said what stands out to them today are the many blessings that came out of the storm.

Margie West said she felt blessed to lead the family's insurance adjustor and his wife to the Lord in the tornado's aftermath.

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