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May 24, 2013

Little Axe not forgotten amidst severe weather events

NORMAN — As the nation focuses on the hardest hit tornado-affected areas of Oklahoma, smaller communities are still asking for help.

Northeast Cleveland County wasn’t hit by an EF-5 tornado, but it still killed two, injured six and damaged or destroyed more than 200 homes.

“Please don’t let the tragedy in Moore divert attention away from our neighborhood. Thousands live here and were impacted from Sunday night’s twister,” Pecan Valley resident William Ries said. Pecan Valley was one of the residential areas that got hit the worst in the county on Sunday.

Cleveland County commissioners said Pecan Valley has not been forgotten.

“We don’t want those people to feel left out,” County Commissioner Darry Stacy said. “We had a significant event and numerous people lost their homes in eastern Cleveland County. We’re trying to refocus so we can take care of all our citizens in Cleveland County.”

Today, a community cleanup day is being hosted. Persons involved in the community sentencing program will be part of that cleanup effort, and other volunteers are encouraged to help.

Those who would like to join the effort are asked to meet at 8 a.m. at the Absentee Shawnee Resource Center, 1970 158th Ave. NE. Stacy said volunteers also can go out to the resource center at any time to help with the relief effort, as well as deliver donations there.

A community briefing with a question-and-answer session for residents will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Pecan Valley Baptist Church, 18901 Pecan Valley Road in Newalla.

Supplies and donations are still needed in the eastern Cleveland County, as most donations have been directed to Moore. Stacy said they have coordinated with numerous churches, including Journey Church and First Baptist Church, to help with the demand of supplies needed.

“With more chance of severe weather coming, there is a lot of requests for tarps. Homeowners have also requested plastic totes so as they dig through their belongings, they have something to put them in that is waterproof to some extent,” Stacy said.

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