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Destruction widespread following Sunday's tornado near Shawnee

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
A woman looks for mementos in the aftermath of the tornado that hit west of Shawnee on Sunday.
Fertile Ground Compost Service

DALE, Okla. - As Midwest City residents Travis and Wanda Jernigan stood around the destroyed remains of their son Mark's mobile home, outside this Pottawatomie County community, just west of Shawnee, it was clear that the elderly couple was determined to help their son and his tenant clean up what was left of the structures on the property.

Nearby, cattle ate grass amidst the scattered scraps of tin and aluminum, shredded pink insulation and countless other pieces of debris that had once been treasured items in the home.

Mark Jernigan, we were told, works on aircraft and was in Virginia Beach, Va. when the tornado ripped through this area on Sunday. The young woman who had been staying in the mobile home had been at work in Del City, and thankfully missed being in the mobile home at the time.

A member of the Jernigan family held a light switch that was found well across Pecan Grove Road where Red Dirt Report found themselves on Monday morning as emergency crews, utility trucks and local residents began tackling the clean-up process.

Driving around the area near Dale, Bethel Acres and then back towards Lake Thunderbird and on into Norman, we criss-crossed the areas where the Sunday tornado had passed through. Twisted bits of metal, downed power poles and homes that were badly damaged by the destructive force of the tornado were clearly visible in these areas of Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Cleveland counties.

As we write this story, a new, powerful tornado formed west of Newcastle and went east-northeast, right through Moore and parts of the southside of Oklahoma City. The devastation is massive. People are injured, possibly dead. This is as bad - or at least more widespread in terms of damage - as the notorious May 3, 1999 tornado that hit Moore.

Copyright 2013 Red Dirt Report

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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