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Survivors of 1999 Oklahoma tornado return help to victims in Newalla

Victims of the May 3, 1999 tornado in Moore are returning the Oklahoma kindness they experienced by helping out those in Newalla who lost their homes.

BY MEGAN ROLLAND Modified: May 13, 2010 at 9:46 am •  Published: May 13, 2010

/articleid/3460979/1/pictures/939795">Photo - Little Axe students Miguel Varnell, left, and Ben Dodson  help clean up tornado debris Wednesday. Varnell and Dodson and their friend, Cody Brown, whose school was destroyed by a twister, volunteered their time to help in a neighborhood near SE 59 and Peebly Road. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Little Axe students Miguel Varnell, left, and Ben Dodson help clean up tornado debris Wednesday. Varnell and Dodson and their friend, Cody Brown, whose school was destroyed by a twister, volunteered their time to help in a neighborhood near SE 59 and Peebly Road. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
They are picking up my personal belongings that they find and bringing it back to me. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

No one was at home when the tornado struck Hensley’s house. The brick walls of the single-story home were mostly intact, but the garage was destroyed, the roof was gone, and Hensley said his insurance agent told him the house at 5601 Sunset Ridge Road was "totaled.”

The Halpins, who now live in Choctaw, were indirectly affected by the same tornado outbreak that damaged Hensley’s home.

Brown’s friends joked that it was nice to be out of school, but said it felt good to be able to help out in the aftermath of the storm.

"You don’t know what to do when something like this happens,” Hensley said. "You just don’t know.”

Ongoing Coverage: May 10 tornadoes
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