Oklahoma Business Loses Building To Fire After November Tornado
COOKSON, Oklahoma - A Sequoyah County business, hit hard by the recent tornado, is now dealing with another loss. It happened in Blackgum, which is just a few miles east of Tenkiller State Park.
Homeowners made a lot of progress in the last week removing debris around homes, but what do you do when the place that hauls the trash is hit by a tornado, then a fire?
Taylor Smith said his family business, Sue’s Recycling and Sanitation, actually looks a lot better than it did just a few days ago and certainly a week ago.
“You can see there wasn't much here to damage, so if there had to be a fire, I guess now is a good enough time,” said Smith.
By what's left of one building, the fire that started Monday continued to smolder the next day. It finished off a little more of what little they had left and the fire started during demolition.
“And there was some loose cardboard in there, that caught a spark from something, a grinder or something, and it went up,” said Smith.
It's a minor setback compared to what the company already lost. Sue's Trash service had 9 buildings on the site. Now all they have is some wreckage and a tent.
“And we're the people you call for that, we're the people who help get the debris cleaned up and hauled off and people are reaching out to us, needing our help and we're feeling the crisis as well,” said Smith.
The damage is all around them. Trees were uprooted and homes demolished by the November 30th tornado.
Though some minor injuries were reported, no one was killed. Sue's was back out picking up trash the Monday after the storm.
The company plans to rebuild everything and keep taking care of customers during what they expect will be a year-long process. And since then, even businesses have neighbors offering to help.
“All of our customers have been very very understanding we've been really lucky there and had some kindness from friends and strangers even coming to try and do everything they can,” said Smith.
The weather service estimated the tornado was at about a thousand yards wide in Blackgum, very close to where the damage started.
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