Volunteers from WI caught in powerful storms in OK Friday
OKLAHOMA (WITI) -- Some volunteers from Wisconsin helping out with tornado and storm relief in Oklahoma experienced powerful storms that hit the area on Friday night. Nine were killed in the storms, and the storms left more damage in the already battered area. In the midst of it all, these American Red Cross volunteers say help is needed now more than ever.
"We had to take cover in a walk-in freezer. You really couldn`t see out the windows to the restaurant -- so dark and green, rain coming everywhere, flooding issues all over," Matt Berry with Legacy Christian Church said.
Mary Ann Lee and her team from Elmbrook Church had a similar experience on Friday as they took cover in a church's safe room.
"Because the people in the neighborhood were already hit once...they pulled into the parking lot pounding on doors and windows to get in. I was looking in their eyes and they were scared," Lee said.
When the weather calmed down, the volunteers got back to work. Legacy Christian Church had collected cleaning supplies and donated items to help with the relief, and their efforts were extended. Lee said other agencies altered their plans after Friday's storms.
"The Tide truck was there washing people's clothes and things. They were going to move to a different area but since it hit in the same area they are still there," Lee said.
Volunteers say it is the little things that make the biggest impact when a disaster happens. For these volunteers, that includes sifting through rubble and helping people piece their lives back together.
The remaining Elmbrook volunteers plan to return home on Wednesday, June 5th.
Legacy Christian Church says it plans to partner with a disaster relief team in Illinois that will help rebuild homes later this year.
CLICK HERE for additional resources and information on how to donate to tornado victims via the American Red Cross's website.