Recovery Crews Provide Aid to Storm Victims


Wednesday, February 11th 2009, 6:42 pm
By: News 9


By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Governor Henry spoke with Homeland Security officials Wednesday morning, and they've pledged to assist in any way they can. The state is also providing storm victims plenty of resources.

Homeowners in Edmond's hard-hit Homestead addition were feeling a variety of emotions Wednesday, including gratitude. In particular, Shawn Krisher was grateful for the unsolicited help of a handful of airmen from Tinker Air Force Base.

"Yeah, they've just been going from house to house and helping clean up everybody's yards," said Krisher, whose home was damaged by a tornado.

The airmen's flight sergeant lives on the street, but they decided to help her neighbors, too.

"It makes me feel good, whatever we can do to help," said Tinker airman Teverence Davis.

More on News9.com:

  • View Slideshows of Storm Photos
  • Tornado Kills at Least 8 in Lone Grove
  • Tornado Tears Through Northwest Metro
  • State of Emergency Declared in Edmond
  • Allstate Provides Simple Steps for Recovery
  • At the same time, teams of city workers and volunteers were driving through the affected neighborhoods, taking note of the damage to each home.

    "A lot of them are just simply affected with some roof damage or a window, minor damage," said Bill Fitzgerald with the Disaster Assessment Team.

    Edmond emergency management officials call those windshield assessments, since the crews stay in their vehicles.

    "It's just one step of the total damage assessment process, and we actually get into more detail as the days go by, but this is the first report that goes to the state about the scope of the damage," said Mike Magee with Edmond Emergency Management.

    And state officials said the data all these teams collect can be critically important in determining whether the state receives federal disaster aid. Other non-federal agencies are already on the front lines helping storm victims.

    "We stand ready to assist people when disasters happen," said April Wilkerson with the Red Cross of Central Oklahoma.

    "I grew up fifteen miles from here, so this is almost home for me, as well. I do disasters all over the world, but it gets pretty personal when it comes, you know, right to home," Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Director Sam Porter said.