Volunteers Bring Relief To Mayes County Residents Cleaning Up After Tornado

Wednesday, April 26th 2017, 6:52 pm
By: News On 6

The National Weather Service says two EF1 tornadoes touched down in Mayes County Tuesday night, snapping trees and damaging homes.

There's still a lot of clean-up that needs to be done, but it already looks better than it did Wednesday morning, and neighbors said if it wasn't for the kindness of strangers they wouldn't be in such good shape.

Tree after tree, volunteers with the First Baptist Church in Claremore worked tirelessly to help people in Mayes County clean up after a tornado touched down in their neighborhood.

4/26/2017 Related Story: Survey Team Finds Two Tornadoes Hit Near Mayes County

Sherry Kuder said, "These guys just showed up out of nowhere…and, just, like I said, took care of everything."

Kuder and her husband, Mark, had no idea what the damage would be like until they looked outside at first light.

"We walked around numb for like an hour, like where do you start, you know? What do you do," she said.

Kuder said it wasn't until the guys showed up that they stopped feeling helpless and overwhelmed.

"We were this morning not having a clue what we were going to do, and then they kind of showed up and that made it easier for a minute," she said.

Their home was one of the hardest hit in the area - with trees down everywhere, including all the power lines to their home and dozens of other homes nearby.

Northeastern Oklahoma Electric Cooperative crews worked through cold wind and rain to get things back up and running.

With all the kindness from strangers, the Kuders are overcome with gratitude as Baptist volunteers pray for their family, thankful they weathered the storm.

"It kind of went around us,” she said. “The house is still standing and we're still here."

Volunteers are making good headway - roads are clear, yards are getting there, and the hearts of everyone are full.