Cherokee County Residents Clean Up After Tornado Touches Down - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Cherokee County Residents Clean Up After Tornado Touches Down

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"Everything that we've ever worked for is right here and it's all gone," Kristen Morten said. "Everything that we've ever worked for is right here and it's all gone," Kristen Morten said.
An uprooted tree in Cherokee County. An uprooted tree in Cherokee County.
The Morten's lost everything in the tornado. The Morten's lost everything in the tornado.
The Morten's property from SkyNews6. The Morten's property from SkyNews6.
The community helps the Morten's clean up. The community helps the Morten's clean up.
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

An early Sunday tornado swept through Cherokee County near Tahlequah.  In total, five structures were demolished and many were left without power.

4/15/2012 Related Story: Tornado Tears Through Cherokee, Adair Counties

It has been a busy day for the people in Cherokee County, as they clean up after the devastating tornado.

"There are a lot of old wives tales around here people say that it will never affect our area, but this is a true testament that it very well can," said Scott Pettus, Tahlequah & Cherokee Co Emergency Management PIO.

Early Sunday morning, a tornado stormed through the southeastern part of the county leaving nothing but rubble in it's path.

Trees snapped in half, some even uprooted.

Roofs ripped off houses.

And homes left in pieces.

"I really didn't know what to think at first. Everything that we've ever worked for is right here and it's all gone," Kristen Morten said.

The worst of the damage happened to Morten's mobile home.

Luckily for her family, it took shelter at a relative's house before the storm.

"It's scary and it's a reality check because all the other times, we would go stay at his mom and dad's house and I would always think, nothing's ever going to happen, nothing's ever going to happen. You know, we're just being paranoid and then it happened," Morton said.

Reporter Ashlei King: "This is a pretty unbelievable sight to see. The mobile home used to sit right here where this patch of mud is. Now it's down that hill in pieces. But the good news is, nobody was hurt."

"Thankfully they got their lives and they've got a few things. Everything else is replaceable," longtime family friend Sheila Wright said.

Wright is one of the many who dug through the debris hoping to salvage anything she could find.

"Everyone pulls together when there's a tragedy of any kind," Wright said. "Differences are put aside. People come together for the goodness of each other."

After surveying the destruction from SkyNews 6, emergency management teams say things could have been a lot worse.

"You hate to say ‘it doesn't really look as bad as I thought, being a homeowner and I wasn't hit,' but I know the homeowners that were hit think it's devastating. But it could have been worse. I feel we were pretty fortunate overall," Gary Dotson, Tahlequah and Cherokee County Emergency Management Director, said.

The Red Cross was there to help the families in need.

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