OKLAHOMA CITY – The sound of chainsaws always follows the heaviest storms. That proved true again on a Sunday morning in the few blocks surrounding the Oklahoma City intersection of NW 23rd Street and Classen Boulevard.
Jesse Lumpkin lives nearby and took to his basement as the storm approached.
“After hearing the sirens, I thought, ‘If it’s that close, I should take shelter now,'” Lumpkin said.
Robert Martinez was asleep when the big tree in his front yard snapped in half.
Martinez said, “All of a sudden, I heard a big old noise coming from my bedroom window. Then, I saw things flying everywhere, and I got scared.” The tree fell on his neighbor’s truck and punched several holes in his roof.
Trees up and down the residential street, and the next block lay twisted and broken as the sun came up.
One block north, along 23rd Street, several businesses took damage.
Broken glass littered the street outside a beauty shop and the old Rainbow Record business on the corner.
Air conditioning units on the roof looked bent over by high winds.
The heaviest damage occurred at Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dogs.
Owner Omar Molina sent his kitchen crew home ahead of the storm.
Molina didn’t realize, at first, just how bad it was.
“I stepped inside and it was raining indoors,” he said. “My whole kitchen area is pretty much collapsed.”
Oklahoma City still goes to church on Sunday mornings.
The first service for the century-old Trinity Baptist took place outside as the congregation, including Pastor Tobin Jackson, cleared the parking lot of storm debris.
The church was empty last night, but Jackson said one homeless friend took shelter in an alley behind the sanctuary.
“I asked him how it was, and he couldn’t even talk,” said Tobin. “It scared him pretty good.”
Worshipers gathered inside for the late service.
Organizers thanked volunteers, the original builders and providence that they could come together to help others the day after.
“This is an amazing rock,” said Pastor Tobin of his original church building. “We plan to sing a little bit, pray a lot and give the charge to get back out here.”
The Trinity Baptist building took only superficial damage with no windows broken.
Owners at Mutt’s said it might be a couple of months before they open again.