Quapaw Tornado Cleanup Underway

Monday, April 28th 2014, 8:07 pm
By: News 9

The people of Quapaw are banding together to clean up their city after a tornado killed one man and damaged dozens of homes and buildings Sunday.

Officials in the far northeast Oklahoma City were still accessing damage as of late Monday. Along the city's main road is where 68-year-old John L. Brown of Baxter Springs, Kansas lost his life inside his car. His wife in the passenger seat survived, according to city officials. She was rushed to a local hospital.

"I just sat in my car and said, 'help me Jesus,'" said survivor Pam Harris of Joplin, Miss. "I looked down and my hand was gushing [blood]."

Harris was in a Toyota just feet away from where Brown lost his life. Six people total were rushed to a local hospital, according to the city's fire chief.

Governor Mary Fallin arrived to tour the area and talk with victims Monday afternoon. She reassured people, like homeowner Jackie Wilkerson, they won't be forgotten.

"Everything in [my house] is covered in glass," Wilkerson told News 9.

4/28/2014 Related Story: OK Governor Tours Tornado Damage In Quapaw

Roughly 60 buildings and homes were damaged in the storm and another 15 have been destroyed, according to fire department estimates as of late Monday.

"It was a very strange occurrence that all of a sudden we had a funnel that came down during this time, which left the community without time to prepare because it didn't appear there was any immediate threat at the time," Fallin said.

Quapaw was being powered by state-owned generators as of late Monday, while crews worked on restoring power. The tornado formed from a storm that also caused damage in parts if southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri.

4/28/2014 Related Story: Quapaw Tornado Relief Efforts: How You Can Help