Emergency managers in Muskogee County said Friday was about a quick response to the people affected by storms. Saturday was all about picking up the pieces and showing kindness to victims.
Volunteers worked tirelessly repairing powerlines, houses, and lives.
"I'm just grateful,” Muskogee County resident Roy Parker said. “Grateful for everyone to come and help.”
Parker is just one of the victims of the storm's destruction. His home is now a pile of debris.
Despite the loss, the kindness Parker felt from strangers has been overwhelming.
"There was probably 10 people here that I didn't even know,” Parker said. “It was pouring down rain and they got out here helped me pick some things up that was [sic] valuable to me.”
The American Red Cross worked all Saturday providing money and resources to Parker and other storm victims. American Red Cross Oklahoma Disaster Program Manager Mary Jane Coffman said the group has been able to help in the field work and virtually to keep volunteers safe during COVID-19.
"In some cases, we were able to work with the client using video conferencing to find out what their needs are and how much damage has happened,” Coffman said. “We can do things virtually that way.”
Muskogee County Emergency Manager Jeff Smith said including law enforcement to help control traffic has helped emergency crews respond quicker.
"It helps the lineman put the power back on faster,” Smith said. “It’s helping the companies and contractors that are coming in. Stopping all this traffic is a huge benefit.”
Parker said he and his family will be OK, knowing they have community support.
"I believe in a God that's bigger than any of my problems," Parker said, "It’s only better to come."