Haileyville Citizens Recovering After Devastating Storm
PITTSBURG COUNTY, Oklahoma - People in Haileyville are coming together to clean up debris after storms swept through the area damaging more than three dozen homes and businesses. Right now there are still people without power.
Some families have lost their livelihoods, others have lost their homes. In the midst of the damage, people keep talking about the Oklahoma Standard. People coming together to help each other rebuild despite all they have lost.
Samantha Lawson says her son took his first steps in the house damaged by the storms.
"I don't even understand. You know, my son's stuff is in here, my kids' stuff is in here," said Lawson.
Each room is full of memories.
"This lady was like a grandma to me, who had the house before. She passed away and this is my dream house," said Lawson, "These past two years. Have been the greatest two years of my life."
Now, because of a tornado, Samantha’s memories are covered in insulation, broken pieces of wood and twisted branches of trees.
"My house is destroyed. I have never been so devastated in my life," said Lawson, "I feel lost. I don't know what to do."
Kevin Enloe and the entire McAlester/Pittsburg County Emergency Management team have been working since before the storm hit to make sure people like Samantha have the resources they need to get through the next few days. But what this community has lost is hitting everyone hard.
"It is my county. We have a lot of folks that are displaced," said Enloe.
27 homes and 3 businesses are destroyed. 37 homes and countless businesses have damage. Thankfully, only two people have injuries and everyone survived.
"People who lost their homes were helping their neighbor," said Enloe.
It's those moments of kindness in the midst of the loss, like Samantha finding this stuffed animal she got from the hospital the day her son was born that are giving people strength as they pick up the pieces.
"It is a long road still but we will get through this," said Enloe.