Volunteers In Moore Continue Making Progress, Friendships

Thursday, June 20th 2013, 9:44 pm
By: News 9

One month after a large part of Moore was torn to shreds, there are tremendous signs of progress.

People in the community say the past 30 days have shown nothing, not even a tornado, is as powerful as the spirit of volunteers, who are working around the clock to finish a difficult job. 

Volunteer Kristine Jenssen and Moore resident Gordon Butler were complete strangers until Thursday. Now, they're quickly becoming good friends.

"You make a connection for life, and it feels good to help somebody else out," Jenssen said.

Dozens of volunteers spent the day hauling loads of debris from Butler's property.

"I'm moved," Butler said. "People have come from so far away to help."

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

Jenssen is one of the distant travelers. She lives 800 miles away in Indiana, but you might as well call her an honorary Okie. Jenssen is in Oklahoma at least once a year on vacation. She was also in Joplin one month after its tornado.

"That was an experience I will never ever forget," Jenssen said.

Just like all the other volunteers, Jenssen receives joy from helping people like Butler.

"It was hard to even find my place," Butler said. "There were no less than four crumpled-up automobiles piled up on the front of my property."

Things, now, are on the upswing. In the past month, there has been amazing progress. Many properties are almost entirely clear, but there are still some that have large amounts of debris.

Butler continues finding belongings and keepsakes with the help of Jenssen.

"I've found records that I thought [would've] blown away," Butler said.

Butler is not sure if he will rebuild in Moore. He is currently living with friends near Norman.