Residents Survey Damage After Deadly Tornado Rips Through Elk City

Wednesday, May 17th 2017, 4:58 pm
By: Grant Hermes

The tornado's path took it nearly directly across an industrial park.

Entire buildings are plastered with insulation and mud, and others are demolished completely.

News 9 spoke with a few crew members Wednesday out in Elk City who said they hid in a bathroom as the tornado came overhead. 

One told News 9 a truck and a generator were thrown close to 200 yards and exploded, sending debris another several hundreds yard out in every direction. 

News 9 also spoke with folks in a nearby neighborhood who said they too hid from the tornado just in time. 

"It was only about 10 seconds long," Elk City resident Blake Brewer said. "It's just amazing the amount of destruction it can do in 10 seconds and now we've got two years worth of clean up or whatever it takes."

The inside of the neighborhoods in south Elk City are littered with tree limbs, bricks and board, and even some glass and metal. 

More than a dozen houses were destroyed just along a street which sits directly behind the Elk City Golf and Country Club. 

One man News 9 spoke with had been in his home for decades and said nothing like this has ever happened. 

"It didn't seem real. (I) lived here for 30 some years. Never had anything like this, never been anything like this and hope I never am again," Gary Paxson said. Paxson's home was damaged in the storm. 

For the most part, neighbors are helping neighbors clean up and save what they can. Others are working to make repairs, hoping this next expected round of storms won't take what the first left behind.