The Norman Transcript

News Features

November 13, 2013

Windy week



Triage was set up at the Warren Theatre. Splitt was particularly moved by the story of three Moore Medical staff members who stayed with a patient in labor and protected her during the tornado.

“They held hands and they prayed. The louder the storm got the louder their conversation with God became,” he said. “They said they heard a loud, high pitched noise and suddenly the door to the suite swings open and it pushes out the wall to that room.”

He said they closed their eyes and when they opened them again they could see outside to Warren Theatre.

“Their courage and caring was evident but also evident was God’s hand,” Splitt said.

Moore resident Kelly Wells is the Norman Regional Health System’s manager of corporate communications. Wells had spoken to her husband that day and knew he had picked up their children from Broadmoore Elementary and that her family was safe. But Wells did not know if her home, which was near the path of the storm, was safe.

She had no time to think about her house, however, as the leadership team at the command center went into action coordinating communication and response efforts. Wells said preparations were under way to deal with the aftermath even as the tornado approached.

“We got the Code Black, the alert we get, that we needed to set up a command post,” Wells said.

Shane Cohea, the health system’s emergency coordinator, was working closely with someone with the weather service who warned that MMC could take a direct hit, Wells said.

“You have no control over the situation and you’re just hoping for the best,” Wells said. “As they started talking about all the schools, it starts really hitting home. For me, the sadness started setting in, but you realize you have to get ready because at that point you realize you’re going to be getting people.”

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