Shelters Open And Translators Help Out After Tornado
EL RENO—It’s been 24 hours ago since a deadly EF3 tornado tore through El Reno.
Two people have been confirmed dead, and around 30 others were injured.
The tornado destroyed a motel and mobile home park near highway 81. That road has re-opened, but clean-up has just begun.
“I had my phone ringing at 2 o’clock this morning and it’s been non-stop,” said Nancy Salisman, Auxiliary President of the VFW in El Reno.
The VFW opened it’s doors to victims young and old, many who had lost everything. The Jenks Simmons Field house also did the same.
Volunteers said that right now they are in need of items for infants, and the elderly.
“The damage doesn’t look at what your age is,” said Coral Porch, VFW State Commander of Oklahoma
It also doesn’t discriminate based on language. We saw a number of victims who primarily spoke Spanish.
From the early morning light, Maunel Muniz said he has been translating for victims fighting a language barrier. He is a part of a team of about 7 other translators.
“I was here ready to help translate, because I knew, living in El Reno, we have a high Hispanic population over here,” said Muniz.
He was ready to ask tough questions like: Is everyone in your family okay? Did they make it out? Are you hungry?
“They are relieved that ya know, there is someone out there speaks our language,” said Muniz.
The mayor of El Reno echoed that message.
“They’re apart of our community, and we are here together. We are all in this thing together,” said Mayor Matt White.
Tonight, victims are in the hospital, or various shelters around town.
Volunteers are still hard at work.
A former school teacher says some of the victims injured are her former students.
“I had a police officer come and needed help locating the child. Needed the last name, a picture of that child. So I was calling the principal and waking her up at 3:30 this morning,” said Nancy Salisman.
The mayor said the town has been overwhelmed with physical donations.
That way victims can buy the individual items they needs.
Tomorrow at 9:00 AM, those affected by the tornado can come out to the Jenks-Simmons Field House, 214 N. Country Club, for supplies. That includes; Diapers, wipes, Kleenex, Wave wash, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, body wash.