As Rain Moves In, BA Tornado Victims Rush To Repair Roofs


Monday, May 18th 2015, 11:35 pm
By: News On 6


After two tornadoes swept through northeastern Oklahoma Saturday night, many families are spending the week sorting through the debris, and roofers are starting on temporary repairs.

With more rain in the forecast, tornado victims in Broken Arrow are in a rush to cover up their roofs as tarps cover several houses.

5/18/2015 Related Story: Weather Service Rates Broken Arrow Tornado EF-2, Inola EF-1

One Broken Arrow family said they didn't just have damage on the outside, but also water damage on the inside. Now they're worried the tarps on their home can't withstand another storm.

Just feet away from where a swing set still stands the roof of the home is gone.

That's the case throughout the Broken Arrow neighborhood as some roofs have a few shingles missing, while others, like Tiffany Gayle's home, don't have anything left.

"We only heard debris, things hitting our house, ‘oh my gosh what's happening,'" she said.

When the tornado passed, she and her family walked out of the closet and found rain pouring inside. One of her first thoughts was to get the holes covered up, fast.

"You don't further damage because you are looking at this, saying ‘thank God I have all this,' so you don't want to come back and more of it be gone," Gayle said.

Water destroyed her kitchen table and warped her new floors, but most of the furniture and other belongings aren't damaged.

She picked up what she could inside and out, and found several of her belongings all over the yard.

"That's our Christmas tree in a bag. Everything is a wash right now,” Gayle said with a laugh.

Rain could destroy even more; but crews are working quickly to patch roofs throughout the neighborhood, while neighbors pick up pieces of their homes.

They're all rushing against the clock.

"Get it done today while we have the sunlight because I know it's supposed to rain the rest of the week," said tornado victim Jeff Nobile.

Even though tarps cover most of the damage, Gayle wonders if it's strong enough to withstand more bad weather.

"They put two layers and put a bunch of wood up there to hold it down. Let's just hope it works," she said.

No matter what's to come in the days ahead, she's thankful her home took the beating and not her family.

"I'm feeling very lucky, very blessed and all of our neighbors are still alive too," Gayle said.

She was told the frame of the house wasn't damaged, but repairs will likely take two to three months. In the meantime her family is staying at a hotel.