The Norman Transcript

Headlines

May 21, 2013

Tornado rekindles nightmare storm of 1999

MOORE — For some residents of Moore, Monday’s events were a reminder of the May 3, 1999, tornado that caused devastation in the same area.

Judy Odem, who’s lived in Moore for 40 years, said she learned after the 1999 tornado that she needed to seek shelter when tornado sirens sound.

Odem lives off South Telephone Road near the Moore Warren Theater and said she watched the storm develop on TV until her television went off and then she hopped into her closet with her three dogs and lots of pillows to ride out the storm. In 1999, 43 people died in Oklahoma tornadoes.

“I could hear the whole train thing and it sounded like things were just pounding on the roof,” Odem said. “It was a nightmare. I just kept thinking it’s gonna come through, it’s gonna come through the roof.”

Odem weathered the 199 tornado with her mother in when she remembers thinking to herself, “God, if it hits us, let it be quick.”

She had a tree uprooted in her front yard and her roof sustained damage, but she got out of the storm unharmed, which, unfortunately, is not something everyone could say.

“I hear at 7-11, there was a woman and a baby killed and a man with a big gash in his back, but I heard he’s still alive,” Odem said.

A family of four sought shelter in their closet in The Fairways at Moore apartment complex. The apartment complex got a little banged up and had lots of broken windows, the family said.

“It was definitely crazy. We watched it form until it came over us and I heard a lot of commotion,” said Michael Smith, who stood telling his story with wife, Abby, and two children. “There was debris everywhere.”

“It was rumbling, the ground was rumbling and all the stuff on the ground was in the air in a circle,” Abby Smith said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014