El Reno Disaster Relief Site Open For Tornado Victims
EL RENO, Oklahoma - When that tornado ripped through El Reno, it destroyed so many homes in its path. Now the victims have a one stop shop where they can go to get help to start the recovery process.
At the Jenks Simmons Field House in El Reno, a resource center is now open after last week's tornado. People can come by to get basic supplies and meet with the American Red Cross as well as its partner agencies.
Volunteers started rolling in supplies around noon with families impacted by Friday's tornado already waiting inside. Margaret Niles was at her sister's home when last week's powerful EF5 tornado destroyed her house and barn.
She wasn't able to salvage much, just a few keepsakes and pictures.
"I can do without it, but it's just your whole life there after 60 years," Niles said.
She's at the resource center hoping to find temporary housing.
"We looked into renting a trailer, and the place we called said it'd cost us over $3,000 just to rent a trailer, and we don't have that," Niles said.
Several agencies are on hand at the resource center to help in the recovery process. Local health care providers are offering free first aid, and financial help is available through the American Red Cross.
"We have our mental health workers on site that are able to assist with mental health needs. We're able to get them assistance, which gives them a little hope in the right direction. We're able to see their needs and plan for the future," spokesman Jay Sharp said.
Like Margaret, people here are trying to move forward with a little extra support.
"A shoulder to cry on, or a joke to keep us going, when you have people like that, you're going to make it," Niles said.
The resource center will be open 9:00am – 7:00pm the rest of the week at the Jenks Simmons Field House, 211 N. Country Club in El Reno.