American Red Cross passing out supplies to survivors of El Reno tornado

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EL RENO,  Okla. – The American Red Cross is passing out supplies to survivors of the EF-3 El Reno tornado so they can start trying to salvage what they can from the rubble.

Inside an American Red Cross truck parked at the Skyview trailer park in El Reno is the first step toward rebuilding for those who lost their homes Saturday night when the EF-3 tornado tore through their community.

“They’re distributing things like cleanup kits, shovels, rakes, you know, some things that can at least help go through some of this damage that you see, some of the remains of the homes,” said Jay Bonafede, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

While survivors survey rummage through what’s left of their homes, American Red Cross crews are doing what they call case work.

“We’ll have a volunteer sit down with that family, those affected families, those affected individuals and really find out what their individualized needs are. Obviously, for some, there is going to be housing needs. For some, they may have a place to go, but they need something else,” Bonafede said.

One of those needs is a warm meal. The Salvation Army is providing that, along with Select Energy Services, which was directly affected by the tornado.

“Our company owned trailers, and we housed crews here. Actually, on the other side of this trailer, trailer #69, is the first trailer that was affected by the tornado. It was sucked back, and it protected trailer #70 and, then, the line of devastation happened after that,” said Vicki Leech with Select Energy.

When Leech got to El Reno Sunday to survey the damage though, she noticed a glimmer of hope that she said she’ll never forget.

“One of our pickups over there, in front of trailer #69, there was actually a bible and it was untouched, not a page missing, not a torn page,” Leech said. “I think there’s a little story behind that.”

The American Red Cross is in need of donations for recovery efforts in El Reno. Click here if you’d like to donate.

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