Severe Storms Leave Man’s Home In Ruins

Wednesday, April 11th 2007, 8:55 pm
By: News On 6

A severe thunderstorm that ripped through southeastern Oklahoma earlier this week has one community counting its blessings. Folks in Pittsburg County say an elderly man is lucky to be a live after the storm tore apart his mobile home trapping him inside. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports no one saw the Tuesday night storm coming, now some of them are in clean up mode, but one man lost everything.

"The trailer had been tossed," said Pittsburg resident Tommy Lyons.

It stood here for more than 30 years, but in minutes Tommy Lyons neighbor's home was gone.

"I was really scared I'd find a neighbor who was hurt or killed," he said.

Lyons says he knew something was terribly wrong at his neighbor's house when he found it in ruins, so he went looking for his neighbor with the help of a sheriff's deputy. Eventually they found him underneath a mattress.

"He handed us his dog, and said 'Take Blacky first,' which was hard to understand because the man had a trachea, but we got his dog out and he was happy for that and we got him out," Pittsburg County Sheriff’s deputy Danny Kelley said.

Deputy Kelley says the man, 85-year-old Buddy Jefferies, barely had a scratch on him.

"It's amazing that he could survive something like that," Lyons said.

And that the county survived the storm too. Besides Jefferies' home, the storm destroyed one abandoned trailer and damaged a few nearby roofs.

"We in the county, the residents here and in Pittsburg itself were extremely lucky," said Kelley.

Lyons says his neighbor will rebuild. The News On 6 is told in the meantime, Jefferies is staying with family in nearby Kiowa.