El Reno Tornado Victims Nearing Normalcy


Saturday, May 31st 2014, 8:16 pm
By: News 9


Progress continues in Canadian County one year after the mammoth May 31, 2013 tornado. Many residents are still working to get back to their normal lives.

In some parts of the El Reno area, debris is still easy to find. In most parts of the destruction path, construction is making an impact.

"A year later we're doing good," tornado victim Lynn Volkmar said. "We've got everything pretty well cleaned up."

Volkmar has been working hard the past 12 months. He lost roughly 50 trees on his large property. The roof of his barn was blown off and a trailer on his land was destroyed. His house was spared. The total loss on the property was more than $50,000, according to Volkmar.

"[We] prayed a lot," said Volkmar. "We just hung on. It was pretty horrific."

Looking back on the day one year ago, El Reno Fire Chief Kent Lagaly is still amazed at the size and power of the storm.

"It was definitely chaos," said Lagaly. It was 17 miles long, and it was just very hard to assess those areas with the rain and that hail."

In Volkmar's neighborhood, there is still evidence of the storm. It is now a patchwork of destruction and construction mixed with the vivid memories of May 31, 2013.

It was a terrifying day that forced families across Canadian County to take cover with helmets in closets. The summer of 2013 was too hectic for Volkmar and his wife to take their summer vacation. They plan to take a vacation this summer.