The Norman Transcript

News Features

June 4, 2013

Little Axe resident, volunteers from near and far help community after storm



“We were really kind of upset because when we first set this up, there was nothing here,” she said. “There wasn’t anything for these people in this community right here.”

She said Little Axe has always been a town that has relied on itself, so it made sense to her to step up and help her neighbors who were affected more than herself.

“These people are like our family,” McCathern said of Little Axe residents. “So we decided we were going to (help them).”

One of the many people assisting McCathern was Bobbe Steely, 47, a resident of Little Axe for 34 years and a manager at Pecan Valley Junction store. Steely said the market and gas station is a “little social hub” well known to community members for hosting Fourth of July celebrations and Easter egg hunts.

“We have always been a tight-knit, little group that takes care of its own,” Steely said.

While working at the distribution site, Steely said she’s interacted with people so dazed from the devastation they don’t know how to begin their recovery.

“I think everybody is still kind of in shock,” she said. “When they come down here and we ask them, ‘What do you need?’ half of them look at us with a blank stare and say, ‘I don’t even know.’

“There is not a lot of sinking in right now because everybody is preparing and just trying to get daily essentials for everybody.”

If losing a home in a natural disaster wasn’t difficult enough to process, McCathern said there have been reports of people attempting to steal from the wreckage left by the storm.

“(Tornado victims) are afraid to leave because people are looting,” she said. “They are coming in and taking any copper, or any steel, or any aluminum that they got, so they are staying on their property.”

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