Newcastle Families Recovering After Devastating Tornado

Friday, May 24th 2013, 12:10 pm

By: News 9

The tornado slammed nearly 40 homes in Newcastle. People there are recovering, including an artist looking for a special piece of art created for an elementary destroyed in Moore.

In Newcastle, the Codner family was in their storm shelter in their garage when the tornado hit. After it was over, they walked out and saw their 16-year-old daughter's brand new car that she never got to drive.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"It was literally in a matter of minutes we lost everything," Shelly Codner said.

Shelly Codner searches through the rubble for pictures and family heirlooms. Monday's tornado destroyed her family's 3,800 square foot home.

"I was hysterical realizing we had just lost everything that we worked so hard for," Codner said.

She and her husband, their daughter, and 11-month old grandchild survived in the underground shelter they installed just last year.

"It looks like a war zone," Dean Codner says, "there's not anything left, no vehicles, nothing driveable."

Dean is a longtime graphic artist. His 30x40 paint shop is gone.

"Behind that I had a 20x20 shop we worked out of to manufacture sign work for murals, restaurants and for schools," Codner said.

In fact, he'd just finished a mural for Briarwood Elementary in Moore, where the tornado ripped through.

It was supposed to be installed at the school this summer. Now there's no sign of the mural, only paint splattered where his shop once stood.

"I've been doing business for 30 years. [Now I'm] starting over," Codner said.

"We're trying to recover as much as we can out of there for him to be able to go back to work because he is the sole provider for our family," Codner said.

Dean's work can be seen in schools across Oklahoma. He says he's going to keep looking until he find that mural he painted for Briarwood Elementary.

A donation center has been opened at Red Door Homes at 2301 N. Main Street in Newcastle for tornado victims.


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