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October 21, 2013

Two Moore families get new homes after storm

NORMAN — Two Moore families who had lost everything in the May 20 tornado experienced their own version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Saturday.

The Virginia-based nonprofit God’s Pit Crew and Riverlife Church revealed two debt-free, fully furnished new homes for the Rogers and Evans families displaced by the devastating tornado.

These families had not seen the property so the reveal was a surprise for the parents and children.

Shortly after 9 a.m. a blindfolded Evans family was shuttled into their new neighborhood. More than 50 volunteers, friends and family lined the street as a massive truck blocked the view of the new home. The onlookers shouted, “move that truck” and as the big machine rolled forward the family caught the first glimpse of their new home.

Tears ran down mom Michelle Evans’ face when she got ready to give her three children the first tour of the home.

A few minutes later they reemerged through the garage. Evans hugged her way through the crowd waiting outside, but the youngest family member Dayton was ready to return to his room to play.

She struggled to find words.

“I don’t know how I am, actually,” she said.

“I am so emotional,” Evans added. “I am going to miss those guys,” she said pointing at the volunteers.

“We’re not leaving. We’re staying for supper,” said somebody in the crowd.

Evans face lit up.

“OK,” she said. “I just found out I have dishes.”

Five months ago, Evans — a single mother of three — had nothing. Her rental home near Plaza Towers had been destroyed by the tornado. She and her kids only had minutes to collect some of their belongings into a trash bag before authorities ushered them out of the neighborhood due to safety reasons. A day later she lost her job because she couldn’t tell her employer when she would be able to return to work.

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