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Pottawatomie County recovering year after tornadoes with storm shelter rebate program

Shawnee tornado 3

SHAWNEE, Okla. – A year ago today our state was in the midst of a deadly tornado outbreak lasting three straight days.

Of the eight tornadoes touching down on May 19, 2013, an EF-4 was the strongest hitting Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties.

The tornado leveled most of the Steelman Estates mobile home community just off state highway 102.

Many homes were destroyed near Shawnee’s Twin Lakes and other areas near U.S. 177.

Residents are starting to recover but there is still a long way to go.

More than 100 homes and structures in Pottawatomie County were destroyed and 100 others were damaged in Bethel Acres and part of Shawnee.

Officials said the total loss in this area was more than $4 million in damage.

Irish Glen_may 19

Two people were killed in the Shawnee area, 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson.

The tornado also hit Carney, Bethel Acres, Wellston and Prague before it was over.

During the clean up we found tent cities in various locations while the homes were being rebuilt.

The emergency management director said the city and Pottawatomie County have been awarded more than $500,000 for a safe room and storm shelter rebate program.