The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 23, 2013

The Oklahoma standard

NORMAN — The sight of hundreds of young student volunteers walking across Moore’s Fourth Street interstate overpass had to be uplifting to the city’s tornado victims. They carried rakes, brooms and trash bags. A few had children’s red wagons. There were also some teachers and parents, a few with babies in strollers, all headed west to the damage zone.

They were there to help, as thousands of others are this week. It’s the Oklahoma standard set in 1995 after the Murrah building bombing and the May 3, 1999 tornado. The volunteers began arriving just as the nightmare storm passed over the city Monday. In some cases, volunteers had to be sent away as there were just too many to manage.

Some donated blood, thinking the need would be greater. Others brought cash and checks. One boy brought his piggy bank. Food trucks from out of state were there to feed the victims and first responders.

The University of Oklahoma opened its vacant dormitories and cafeteria to storm victims. About 600 stayed there this week. Private corporations, foundations and individuals opened their bank accounts and began donating to various funds set up to provide short and long-term relief.

We’re proud of the effort put forth to help our neighbors move forward. Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said the clean-up process will begin within weeks and the recovery may take two to three years. It’s doubtful those volunteers will be with us that long but their help is appreciated.

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