Tag: tornadoes

In tornado-ravaged South, stories of hope emerge

‘Dear Lord,’ please help us: In tornado-ravaged South, stories of hope emerge as churches, ministries launch disaster relief efforts (with Jeremy D. Smith, reporting from Tuscaloosa, Ala.). Page 1 lead.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Moments before a tornado wiped out the Central Church of Christ building, six students huddled in a small cinderblock closet at the church.

Carl Naylor started to pray, but he managed just two words before the twister came.

“By the time he said ‘Dear Lord,’ our ears started popping, and hairs stood up on our arms,” said Caleb Durden, a Central member whose brother, Trae, serves as campus minister. “Glass was hitting us in the head. Debris. We had glass and rust and just pieces of metal in our hair.”

The students — all active with the Tide 4 Christ campus ministry — couldn’t hear anything as the storm drowned out the heavenly plea of Naylor, whose home congregation is the Forrest Park Church of Christ in Valdosta, Ga.

“The old saying is, ‘A tornado sounds like a freight train,’” said Andrew Broadfoot, who calls the Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, Ala., home. “Well, it almost sounded like 10 freight trains. We were lucky that that room held.”

After about 15 to 20 seconds, the noise quieted.

Walk in the cemetery provides odd comfort (column from Cedar Grove, Tenn.). Inside Story.

Universities face pressure over gay, lesbian students. Second Front.

LTC, L2L and lots of blessings. Editorial.

Avis Duncan: ‘God had a purpose for us’

‘God had a purpose for us’

BYLINE: Bobby Ross Jr.

SECTION: OKLAHOMA RELIGION; SOUL SEARCHING

LENGTH: 1087 words

DATELINE: WOODWARD

Her voice choked with emotion, Avis Duncan shut her eyes tightly, trying to keep a storm of tears from raging.

The Fifth Street Church of Christ member was talking about the green ceramic squirrel that lives on her living-room table.

A smile on its face, the squirrel stands not 3 inches tall.

It cost only a quarter.

Yet, it tells the story of this 72-year-old Woodward native’s life.

“It’s OK if you cry,” said her son, David, 33. He joked, “It’ll make it a better story.”

The dime-store trinket, bought in Enid in August 1946 as Raymond and Avis Duncan celebrated their honeymoon, conjures so many memories. So many laughs. So many tears.

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‘They Were in the House That’s Gone’ Victims, Volunteers Flood Area Medical Centers

Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK)
May 4, 1999, Tuesday CITY EDITION
‘They Were in the House That’s Gone’ Victims, Volunteers Flood Area Medical Centers

BYLINE: Bobby Ross Jr., Melissa Nelson, Staff Writers

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 8

LENGTH: 873 words

Outside Hillcrest Medical Center, sirens wailed as ambulances
kept arriving Monday night.

Frazzled medical workers helped old men and women, heads and
knees covered with bandages, into wheelchairs. Nurses and doctors
rolled bloodied babies and young children inside on stretchers.

As the television boomed with reports of deadly tornadoes, Tony
Lawson sat in the emergency room – sweat and shock covering his
face.

“Luckily, it just went over our house, but it took our
daughter’s house,” Lawson, 39, said.

Lawson found his daughter, grandson and a friend amid the
remains of their destroyed home. He rushed them to the hospital and
wasn’t sure how badly they were injured.

“All I know is they were in the house that’s gone,” he said.

The scene was repeated Monday night at hospitals throughout the
Oklahoma City area. At least nine were confirmed dead by hospitals,
and more than 350 patients were treated.

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