May 8, 2003

a church
A church on the northbound side of I-35.

May 8th was a cloudy, warm and humid day in central Oklahoma. The forcast called for afternoon thunderstorms. The humidity was so heavy that day, it almost screamed to be released from the atmosphere. Around 3:30 or 4 that afternoon a couple of people at work mentioned that forcasters were getting concerned about the weather conditions. About a quarter of 5, my boss was on the phone and when she hung up, she grabbed her purse and headed for the door, excitedly saying tornado sirens were going off in Moore and her kids were freaking out.

I tried to call Peggy and got her voice mail. I went ahead and shut down things and headed for my car. On the way to pick up Peggy, I listened to the radio and they had reports that, in fact a tornado was threatening Moore. I got to Peggy's work and had to wait about 5 minutes for her. When she came out, she urgently said we had to get home because a tornado warning was out for Moore. She said she had called Lyndsey and told her to go to her Aunt Mickey's house to get in their neighbor's storm shelter. As we negotiated rush hour traffic, the radio, which was broadcasting the local T.V. station's meteorologists informed us the tornado had gone through Moore and was barreling down on the General Motors plant and Tinker AFB outside Midwest City.

Remarkably, traffic was not real bad from North Oklahoma City to the edge of Moore. Things changed quickly after that though. We exited at 89th street, and took the service road down to 27th, the first highway exit in Moore. The intersection at 27th and the I-35 southbound service road was a mess, with seemingly, the entire highway attempting to exit there. We realized our initial plan, to run by Sarah's house and check on her would be very difficult due to the traffic trying to go west, so we headed east to the other side of the highway and Peggy's sister's neighborhood to check on Lyndsey.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, July 19, 2003.