Mayes County Residents Picking Up Pieces After Severe Storms


Sunday, July 12th 2020, 5:02 pm
By: Brooke Griffin


MAYES COUNTY, Okla. -

Hundreds of Mayes County residents woke up Sunday morning to find storm damage in their yards from Saturday night's severe storms.

Uprooted trees covered the county. Some trees fell inside homes and crushed cars. Sheds and carports were mangled and wrapped around trees.

One family was out of town buying a new refrigerator while listening to storm reports on the radio. When Chuck Harrell arrived home twenty minutes after the storm hit, he found several trees down in his yard that crushed their boat and their house.

The greenhouse that was in their garden was gone. Pieces of the greenhouse were found throughout their neighborhood. The trampoline in their backyard was found wrapped around a tree 75 yards across the street from where it stood.

“The guy across the street watched it come through,” Harrell said. “He said the winds had to be 100 miles per hour.”

Harrell’s neighbor across the street found herself in a similar situation. Judy Wilkes said she tried to run outside to grab her couch cushions from blowing away, but the wind pushed her door shut and she couldn’t get out.

Debris then began hitting her door and windows. Wilkes tried to look outside to survey the damage but couldn’t see anything.

“You open blinds and doors and all you see is trees,” Wilkes said. “We have a tree down on top of the house and down the side blocking our front door.”

Down the road towards Salina, Anna Christeson barely escaped her home before trees started toppling onto her home and carport.

“There’s about eight big trees down,” Christeson said. “They hit the roof. The front porch is gone. So is the carport.”

Christeson said she usually doesn’t mind storms. She often enjoys sitting on her porch while they come through to watch the show, but this time was different.

“I grabbed my dog and got in the car. But when I was backing out, I heard a boom and the tree fell,” Christeson said. “It smashed the porch and the carport right in front of me. I just kept going because there were more trees falling.”

These Mayes County residents said it was a terrifying evening, but they are so happy and thankful to have gotten through the storm without getting hurt.

If you or someone you know needs help cleaning up your storm damage, the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief for Oklahoma can help with any chainsaw or cleanup needs for free.

If you live in Mayes County, you can call 405-712-4412 to be added to their list.