The Norman Transcript

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May 24, 2013

Faces of the storm

(Continued)

MOORE —

Sydnee was huddled in the bathtub of her south Oklahoma City home with her older sister, mother and grandmother as a tornado bore down on them. The strong winds pulled Sydnee out of her mother’s grasp.

When the debris stopped swirling, Laurinda Vargyas said she found Sydnee on a driveway.

“She was just laying there helpless. All I could do was sit there and hold her. She was already gone,” Laurinda Vargyas said.

 

Terri Long, 49: Long, a mother of three, was driving home from her job as a registrar at the Federal Aviation Administration when she stopped at a 7-Eleven store about two miles from her home. That’s where she died when the tornado hit.

“I have no idea why she stopped there; I’m still trying to figure that out,” said her husband of 10 years, Ken Long. But he has a guess: “She was probably trying to get away” from the tornado.

For several hours after the tornado, Long didn’t know of his wife’s fate — not until her brother called her cell phone, and a police officer answered by saying her purse had been found at the convenience store.

Terri Long may have fared no better had she made it home. Her husband, who was at work at the time of the tornado, said their house was destroyed, too. A couple of days after the tornado, Long still didn’t even have any pictures of his wife in his possession. He had only memories.

A funeral was planned today for Terri Long. She would have turned 50 on Monday.

 

Kyle Davis, 8: He was known to his friends as “The Wall.”

It was a tribute to the ferocity Kyle brought to his beloved sport, soccer, and the way other players seemed to bounce off him as they went for the ball, said his grandfather, Marvin Dixon.

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