Piedmont Residents Recovering After Last Month's Tornado

Friday, June 24th 2011, 9:22 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

PIEDMONT, Oklahoma -- It has been a month since the devastating tornadoes of May 24th swept through Oklahoma and many families are still picking up the pieces.

Residents of Piedmont, one of the hardest hit areas, are still trying to put their lives back together.

One father and son rode out the storm together inside an underground storm shelter.  When they came out, all that was left of their 3,000-square-foot home was a pile of rubble.

Not much has changed for them since the tornado hit.

"We're fortunate," David Parrett said, "because there are a lot of people out in that area that don't have that left and we're really fortunate because he and I are here to talk about it.

"The emotional stuff is mostly what we saved, things that meant something to us.

"That's my son's that was killed two years ago, that's his letter jacket and a lot of these are his football clothes, things like that. 

"We're just now getting to the point where we can start going through this and figuring out what we are going to clean.

"It's amazing.  We found my high school class ring and we found my son Cory's class ring, his high school class ring in the rubble.

"It was kind of like a race for time because you didn't know when it was going to rain.  You didn't know what the weather was going to do, so you got out there and you dug, and you dug, and you dug.

"Right after the tornado, right after it got quiet, we stayed in the shelter for a little bit to make sure everything was clear and I told Austin, 'I'm going to go up and look and see what happened.'

"And he said, 'It doesn't matter, Dad, because we're alive.'

"When people say possessions aren't everything, that's right.  To have your life, compared to possessions, that's the most important thing.  To have your life is the most important thing.  Possessions can be replaced."

The Parrett's piano may be a little out of tune, but it is still standing in the very same spot it was in before the tornado hit. 

The Parrett family said, like their piano, they plan on staying put and rebuilding in the very same spot, just like all the other families out in Piedmont.