Storm Damage Brings Out Community Spirit

Sunday, May 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Storm damage tore apart a school but brought a community together.

Storm damage in Muskogee County amounted to downed power lines and trees. High winds ripped the roof off the Fort Gibson High School. However, people there turned calamity into a community cleanup.

The winds moved and damaged air conditioning units and ripped apart the roof on one of the buildings at Fort Gibson High.

The rain water fell through the newly-created holes in the roof, causing about 300-thousand dollars in damage.

But folks in Fort Gibson say it's times like these when they love living in a small town.

"We're very tight, close-knit community," says Fort Gibson's School Superintendent.

Volunteers showed up to school displaying old fashioned values of a community coming together in a time of need.

They combined old-fashioned hard work with some high-tech tools. They removed insulation off the synthetic running track and three inches of water from the weight room.

When the superintendent called school board members, the principals, and coaches to tell them about the damage, he never expected them to work. So he was shocked when they got 60 of their friends to come out and help.

Many postponed memorial weekend plans because the pride they feel for the school won out over any thought of vacation.

Tiffany Erb didn't need to be here. She's on a break from college.

"I used to go to school here. I feel like the help was needed," Erb says.

So, in less then a day, this tight-knit group of neighbors finished a chore which could have taken weeks.

The volunteers say their main concern was saving some of the 200 books that were in the damaged rooms.

The last day of school in Ft Gibson was a week ago Friday.