The Norman Transcript

Headlines

May 22, 2013

Through the field of wreckage

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Survivors were still there. The media presence had swelled.

Satellite trucks blanketed the area. Matt Lauer and Al Roker of NBC’s Today show had found a perch amid the ruins, as had NBC’s Chris Jansing. They were doing stand-ups. Media were mostly confined to an area just west of the Warren Theatre, which, despite taking a nearly direct hit from the tornado, was still standing.

Just to the north, the Moore Medical Center was not as lucky. It stood in complete ruins.

To the east, rescue teams with dogs scoured a destroyed business, looking for survivors.

Up the street, a church steeple sat impaled in the ground. Scores of cars sat crumpled, many tossed into buildings.

Maegan Jackson and Kaitlyn Newburger had tried to get to their house in the middle of the destruction, but were turned away by the authorities. No one was getting in without valid identification.

When asked what she expected to find, Jackson, standing near her neighborhood, said, “Not this.”

“We were going back to nothing,” Newburger said. “Isn’t this crazy? Why are we here?”

As the two walked, they saw a dog wandering amid the debris and were able to form a makeshift leash using an Ethernet cable. The two were searching for the dog’s owner, when Melody Hughes saw them.

Hughes, who works in a doctor’s office, had spent the night in a makeshift triage center at the Warren Theatre. She had been watching her friend’s dogs at her house, which was spared. One dog, Toby, had escaped.

It was Toby that Jackson and Newburger had found. And it was a tearful reunion.

“He was scared by the storms and bolted,” Hughes said.

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