Woman Displaced After Tulsa Tornado Returns Home


Wednesday, August 16th 2017, 6:16 pm
By: Tess Maune


Tulsa city crews are hard at work helping clean up tornado-damaged neighborhoods.

The City of Tulsa hoped Wednesday was the final day of green waste collections after the EF-2 tornado hit near 41st and Yale. Meanwhile, for Tulsa resident Claudette Wheeler, Wednesday was her first day back home in almost 10 days.

“Very lucky. Yes, I am. Yes,” she said.

It's been a long week-and-a-half for Wheeler after the rare August tornado took its toll on her house.

“It sounded like a freight train coming through,” she said. “It just hit and was gone in a few minutes…It tore up my garage, inside it took it off the track.”

It also damaged her roof, ripped apart her fence and knocked out power.

“It took the electric off the side of the house,” Wheeler said.

She had to make a hotel her temporary home while an electrician and power company worked to get things up and running at her house.

Wheeler said it took them eight days to restore her power.

“It's just been very stressful,” she said.

A stranger helped ease a little stress by hauling away what was left of her fence.

“His wife is artistic and she's wanting to do something artistic with it, I don't know. I said, 'take it all,'” she said.

City workers are also doing their part, making a final green waste sweep through Wheeler's neighborhood.

8/13/2017 Related Story: Tulsa's Green Waste Collection Begins

Wheeler's grateful to see things are getting cleaned up on her street, but, more than anything, she's happy to be back home.

“I am ecstatic I can be home. I am a homebody and I just love being home,” she said.

City workers said they hoped to have all the limbs and debris picked up by Wednesday, but said it will likely wrap up Thursday.