Yukon Neighbors Recovering After EF-2 Tornado

Residents in a rural Yukon neighborhood say they’re lucky to be alive after an EF-2 tornado touched down. They said they waited out the tornado in their shelters, and when they emerged-they began checking on one another and surveying the damage.

Monday, May 20th 2024, 10:11 pm

By: News 9, Sylvia Corkill


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Residents in a rural Yukon neighborhood say they’re lucky to be alive after an EF-2 tornado touched down.

They said they waited out the tornado in their shelters, and when they emerged-they began checking on one another and surveying the damage.

In true Oklahoma fashion Yukon resident Ray Gatto watched as the storm rolled in. “I was watching the tornado, I was the typical Oklahoman-- sitting on a lawn chair and thinking it will turn south or north,” said Yukon resident Ray Gatto.

When it instead made a beeline for his home, Ray Gatto and his neighbors scrambled into their shelters. “We heard a bunch of whooshing, a bunch of wind,” said neighbor Austin Breed. “When you're right underneath the tornado, it’ll make your ears pop,” said neighbor Jim Gill. 

When they emerged--Gatto's home was gone. “I really didn't have any emotions at the time, not many feelings. I was just grateful to be alive, my wife was alive,”

Also missing from his corner lot--the street sign. It was found speared into the ground more than a quarter mile away in his neighbor's yard. “It propelled it through the air. You can see how it would have been turning almost like a propeller of a boat, each one in a circular motion like a pinwheel,” said contractor Jeremy Owens.              

Gatto's neighbor Jim Gill said emergency responders arrived immediately. “The emergency rescue people did an amazing job,” said Gill.     

Emergency responders helped his family locate their three missing horses. “They even had a drone they put up with heat sensors to help find the horses in the field,” said Gill.

And while one of them did not survive, and despite his home and barn sustaining extensive damage Gill said there is still a lot to be grateful for. “We're all alive. I have never seen a tombstone that said I wish I had more stuff,” said Gill. 

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