Buildings remain closed, residents remain homeless 5 days after earthquake

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CUSHING, Okla. - A Red Cross emergency shelter set up for residents of Cimarron Tower closed Friday afternoon, leaving close to 40 people  to be bused to a hotel in Drumright.

Those residents had been staying at the shelter since a 5.0 magnitude earthquake heavily damaged their building Sunday evening.

Cimarron Tower is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development property, so people who live there have subsidized rent and operate on low-incomes.

A member of the board of directors for Cimarron Tower told us residents will be able to stay in Drumright for 30 days, but after that, it’s still up in the air.

“Depending on what all the damage is, for us to get it repaired in time for all these people to move back, we’ll just have to see,” said Don Kindley.

“The holidays are coming round, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you know. If you don’t keep your head up, it’ll hurt you. So I’m trying to keep my head up,” said Cimarron Tower resident Reuben Harrison.

Kindley says they are a non-profit and will not be able to afford to fix the building without government assistance.

“We want to do it because we think it’s a good thing for the community and it’s a good thing for these people but whether we’ll be able to make that happen or not, I’m not sure,” he said.

The mess of concrete and bricks that fell from Cimarron Tower can’t even be cleaned up until the top of the building is secured.

“You’re talking stuff that’s still technically unstable seven stories up and it’s, most of those, are large pieces,” said Cushing Police Chief Tully Folden.

Another downtown building remains roped off because one of the walls is bowing out.

“We’re afraid it might fall over,” said Cushing City Manager Steve Spears.

Almost an entire wall of bricks on the outside of the Lion’s Club building in downtown Cushing came crashing down Thursday morning.

“The building itself is leaning back to the west. There was a lot of stress on that wall,” said Chief Folden.

Other businesses downtown, though, were moving forward with repairs Friday afternoon.

City officials tell us they expect to have a company with a crane come in Monday to fix the damage to the top of Cimarron Tower so the street in front can be opened back up.

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