Oklahomans Help Out After Tornadoes Ravage Midwest, South

Tuesday, April 29th 2014, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

Volunteers with an organization from across Central Oklahoma made the journey to tornado-ravaged areas. Many of them had volunteered or even lived through the deadly tornadoes that touched down last year in Oklahoma.

"It hits home and it feels good to help these people, letting them know that we're here to take care of those needs, see that they're back on the road to recovery," said Steve Klapp, who traveled to Arkansas with the Red Cross. "It's just devastation everywhere, and it's very difficult for some of our workers to go out there and handle these people that are trying to put their lives back together."

4/29/2014 Related Story: Tornadoes Bring Death, Destruction Across South

Klapp knows the struggle tornado victims live through. He was at ground zero right after the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore. When he arrived in Arkansas, it was an all-too-familiar scene playing out. The images are like flashbacks for many volunteers lending a hand where they can after this week's deadly tornadoes.

"You've got people out picking through little pieces of rubble, trying to find what's left of their past lives and that heartache never goes away," Klapp said.

Many volunteers on the ground said they were paying forward the huge amount of help Oklahoma received last year. Captain David Robinson with the Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma said he had several Oklahomans on the ground with him.

4/28/2014 Related Story: OKC Volunteers To Help Oklahoma, Arkansas Tornado Victims

"We don't go very far down the street without people saying thank you for being here, you know, glad you're here, glad you're with us, but it's roll up your sleeves and get to work," Captain Robinson said.

In addition to the groups already on the ground in Quapaw and other states hit by the tornadoes, dozens more stand ready when the call for help comes. Many expect that to happen.