Garvin County residents picking up the pieces

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GARVIN COUNTY, Okla. - One of seven twisters in our state on Monday cut a path down County Road 1680 near Wynnewood, leaving a path of destruction.

One mobile home was literally picked up and tossed back upside down.

76-year-old Chester Barnes died after his home took a direct hit from the tornado.

Tuesday, people are picking up the pieces of what’s left.

“I don’t know where it come from. It just showed up here. There’s the axles. And, there’s a big hole in the ground over there where it hit,” said Bobby Click, as he surveyed the debris scattered all over his family’s property.

His dad’s home was heavily damaged.

His brother’s next door...

“It’s gone,” Click said.

No traces of the home, but they’ve found other stuff in the low lying area at the back of the property.

“There’s the trailer. It carried it 300 yards,” Click said.

Garvin County emergency management was out surveying the damage with a drone.

Special goggles let them see what the drone sees.

“We’ve determined that the tornado took a much larger path or lengthy path than we first thought. It has damaged more homes than we first thought,” said Bud Ramming, Garvin Co. emergency manager.

The insurance commissioner was also out in the damage, saying this is just the most recent example of why we need to strengthen building codes.

“To begin a statewide process to build codes to withstand winds up to approximately 130, 135 miles per hour, because some of these homes may have been standing,” said John Doak.

“I could see it. And, I’m thinking 'Oh my God,' you know, 'I’m going toward it.' But, I thought I had time,” said Lisa Buckner.

Buckner was trying to beat the storm home.

She did but just barely.

“Within, I’d say, maybe, two minutes, I could hear the train, I could hear the wind,” Buckner said.

When she climbed out of her storm shelter, she found her home wiped clean off the slab.

“I mean, you know, it’s life, and you got to, you just gotta keep up, and you gotta keep going,” Buckner said.

“Just a loud roar is all we heard,” said Thye Pierce.

Pierce also rode out the storm in her cellar.

Her home was not gone but heavily damaged.

A 60 foot tall elm tree almost finished the job, though.

“We dodged a bullet when the tree fell. It didn’t hit the main house. It took out a patio room, but it missed the main part of the house,” Pierce said.

Many of these residents are mourning the loss of their neighbor.

“We sure hated to hear it. He was probably the best man that walked around here, just as nice as nice as he could be,” Click said.

Everywhere you looked along county road 1680, friends and neighbors were pitching in to begin the overwhelming task of cleaning up.

“That’s one thing about around here, everybody lends a helping hand. You just rub each other on the back and go on with it. That’s all you can do,” Click said.

About a dozen homes were damaged or destroyed in Garvin County.

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