City Focused On Helping Tornado Victims Rebuild

Wednesday, August 9th 2017, 6:09 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The governor declares a state of emergency for four green country counties following the weekend tornadoes.

A State of Emergency is now in place for Tulsa, Rogers, Mayes and Wagoner counties.

8/9/2017 Related Story: Fallin Declares State Of Emergency For 4 Oklahoma Counties

Governor Mary Fallin said tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding damaged more than 170 homes.

People are working hard in Tulsa and Broken Arrow to clean up after the storm.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said now that the emergency response is over, the City is focused on helping people rebuild.

Bynum also confirmed the City will review the storm siren issue, to go over the protocols and make sure storm alerts go out as quickly as possible.

On the west end of the tornado damage, in the neighborhood around Whiteside Park, things are much quieter as many homeowners already have storm debris cut and stacked by the curb.

As the tornado moved east and strengthened, it peeled off shingles and took down limbs - closer to 41st and Yale, substantial healthy trees were twisted out of the ground.

One stump of a tree that fell is 72 inches in diameter, and the falling tree left a new homeowner with major damage.

Now disaster response teams are working on a deadline, getting homes waterproofed before the rain comes.

“A lot of tree damage. The trees are causing damage to everything - breaking windows, putting holes in the roof, to this one, lifted up the driveway. Right now, we're stopping the bleeding, taking the trees off the house and tarping it up until insurance adjusters let us get back in here and build it back,” said Josh Jones with 918 construction.

Most people in the Whiteside area have electricity again, while a handful are waiting on repairs to their homes before it can be reconnected.

The City is coordinating the longer-term response now, starting with a sweep to pick up limbs next Monday.

8/8/2017 Related Story: City Holding Special Green Waste Collection For Those Impacted By Tornado Damage

"And we're basically going to work to the center. We think it will take about two weeks to get it, hopefully, we'll beat that," said Terry Ball with the City of Tulsa.

The City inspected 205 buildings and declared 16 off limits because they're unstable.

8/7/2017 Related Story: 25 Homes, 152 Businesses Impacted By Tulsa Tornado

Further east, repairs continue to the electrical grid and there's a lot of cleanup left in the industrial area that was hit just east of Sheridan.

The City has help on site to help businesses with repair permits.

For most businesses, their own people are still in the process of deciding what can be rebuilt and what will have to be torn down.