Victims Of Dibble Tornado Find Unexpected Treasures


Friday, May 27th 2011, 8:50 pm
By: News 9


Gan Matthews, News 9

DIBBLE, Oklahoma -- In McClain County, the bad news is 104 homes were destroyed or severely damaged. The good news is, no lives were lost.

The tornado wiped out the Offolter home while seven family members and three dogs rode it out in the storm cellar.

"It was just really loud. And, like, you could hear the trees, and right away you could smell the pine, like, the cedar," Ethan Massey, the couple's grandson, said.

Houses, outbuildings, vehicles, trees are all pretty much gone.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Landy Offolter and his wife Ginese picked through the debris, looking in vain for little things that meant a lot, such as family pictures, bibles and items from loved ones who have died.

During the cleanup and the chaos, thieves see opportunity. Law enforcement officers caught some looters Wednesday night in Goldsby.

"They entered a home that did not belong to them and was rummaging through other people's property," Lt. James Harryman with the McClain County Sheriff's Office said.

But mainly, neighbors are helping neighbors. They're gathering pictures, clothing, and other possible treasures found sitting in the debris.

If you find tornado-tossed property in rural McClain County, report it to the Sheriff's office by calling (405) 527-4121 during the day, or (405) 527-4600 after hours or on weekends.