Sand Springs Families Return To Damaged Homes
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - Governor Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 25 Oklahoma counties because of Wednesday's severe storms.
One person was killed, two more are in critical condition and another 30 were wounded after an EF-2 tornado blew through.
More than 40 families at the River Oaks Mobile Home Park in Sand Springs lost their homes, and Thursday some families got a better look at the damage done.
3/26/2015 Related Story: Tour of Sand Springs Mobile Home Park Shows Massive Tornado Damage
Many of the houses were destroyed, but people tried to save what they could when officials let the families return to their homes for the first time.
Some people were in tears and others were happy to see their home still standing.
Debris and cars were scattered all over the neighborhood and some homes were ripped apart, others thrown across the street.
Stephanie Dacus' home wasn't badly damaged, but her neighbor's house was flipped over on the side; the family grabbed what they could out of the window Thursday.
“Sadness, I was absolutely devastated, I know some of these people and their livelihood is gone, just like that," Dacus said.
Teresa Cramer walked back into her home to find dinner right where she left it.
"So much of this stuff ended up in tact and barely even touched," she said.
Plates were broken on the ground and part of the roof was torn off, but, overall, she knew it could have been much worse. Thursday she packed up what she could.
"Getting the clothes and stuff for the kids, that's what we are getting now," Cramer said.
She and her husband, John Silkie, saw the tornado coming right at them and jumped in their cars.
“I was shaking, I couldn't think, I couldn't do anything, I was just like, ‘Go, floorboard,'" Cramer said.
Her husband was in another car behind her.
"You could feel the car, just shaking real violently. Then, all of a sudden, no traction, the RPM started going up, steering wheel got real loose, then we floated in the air 50 or 75 feet,” Silkie said.
He thought it was the last few seconds of his life.
“You know all those things that go through your head, ‘is this going to happen, am I going to see my kid again,' we just looked at each other and accepted whatever was going to happen," Silkie said.
With trees and debris flying by them, both escaped with their lives; and now, just one day later, they looked at their neighborhood with mixed emotions as they gathered their belongings.
"I want to be happy everyone is alive, but I want to be sad and mad at the same time that everything has happened," Cramer said.
As for the man who was killed, firefighters said he was found mixed in with some of the rubble in a section where about four or five homes were leveled.