The Edmond Sun

State News

May 23, 2013

Rescue workers, tornado victims find respite in college dorms

NORMAN — Monday’s tornado put an estimated 20,000 people out of their houses, which were damaged or destroyed. Some of those victims — and the rescue workers who’ve come to help them — are staying a few miles south, in dormitories at the University of Oklahoma.

More than 300 individuals and families left homeless by the storm are staying at OU, where the university is providing beds, hot water and meals, often delivered by a familiar face. The university also housed 287 first-responders from Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Tennessee.

“Last night we walked in around 8 p.m., after working all day long,” said Lisa Smith Mier, a member of a search and rescue team from Memphis. “And Bob Stoops is in the welcome line of the cafeteria. He was like, ‘Hi, I’m Bob Stoops. Thanks for being here.’”

Mier said she took a picture with the university’s head football coach, who was seen cleaning tables for rescue workers and tornado victims. She also shook hands with OU President David Boren, who greeted each member of the search and rescue team.

“These people are incredibly nice,” said Mier, whose Tennessee Task Force 1 spent Tuesday and Wednesday searching for victims and survivors, then helped Moore residents pick through the rubble. OU donated thousands of bottles of water, as well as equipment and work gloves, to the effort.

Mier and her team toured parts of the OU campus, including the grounds around Memorial Stadium and Heisman Park. She admitted there’s nothing like that back home in Memphis, where the team was scheduled to return Thursday.

Even as the rescuers took in the sights, it could not diminish the tragedy they’d seen several miles north, said Mier, who has participated in search and rescue missions during the past decade from Louisiana to Washington, D.C.

“I guess you don’t realize the power of the wind until you see these pieces of wood speared through people’s brick walls,” Mier said. “It’s crazy. We go to a lot of places — mostly for hurricanes — so we see all kinds of water damage, floodings and things washed away. But here, when you see the wind … it takes wood and punctures it through a brick house like it’s no big deal.”

MICHAEL KINNEY writes for The Norman Transcript.

Text Only
State News
  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • police car.jpg Enid man injured following pursuit

    Larry Lynn Edwards was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center following the 11:32 p.m. crash on 30th Street, just north of Fox Drive, with head and internal body injuries.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas man critical after ATV crash

    Edward Alan Bourland, 37, of San Angelo, Texas, was taken from the scene of the 3 p.m. collision by Eagle Med and flown to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

    July 26, 2014