EL RENO, Okla. – There was a permit issued on Monday to start the cleanup process at Skyview Mobile Home Park after a tornado tore through the area last month.
“Grateful to be alive. We had a barbecue last night. It was a ‘happy to be alive’ party,” Wendy Nichols said.
Austin and Wendy Nichols live at Skyview Mobile Home Park in El Reno, just feet away from a tornado’s path of destruction.
“So apparently it turned right here and went down and around, and I know this is bad for these people but for the grace of God, it didn’t keep going and take out another 30 trailers,” Austin Nichols said.
They have some damage to their brand new vehicle and home, but with no homeowner’s insurance, they’ve been relying on the community’s help.
“Released some money last week, and we’re going to try to release some this week,” Mayor of El Reno Matt White said.
That money is coming from the City of El Reno through its GoFundMe page. Last week, $50,000 was paid to the residents hit by the twister. The Nichols said it helped restock their kitchen.
This week, that same amount will be released to residents.
Meanwhile, the mobile home park is starting to demolish the homes that are beyond repair.
“The residents were given notification last week to get their stuff out and I think they’ve done that,” Mayor White said. “So I think you’re going to see a dramatic change here probably in the next week, trying to get control and a handle of it.”
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready also visited the hardest hit areas Monday. He says between tornadoes and flooding, Oklahoma has a lot of work to do.
“We have a lot of folks in the state of Oklahoma who have major flood damage and have no insurance coverage for that,” Mulready said.
President Trump declared a major disaster in Tulsa, Wagoner and Muskogee counties, allowing federal assistance to those areas.
El Reno hopes some FEMA money will come their way too.
“We really need it, especially the people who don’t have insurance, need that FEMA money and that FEMA assistance,” Mayor White said.
For more information from the Oklahoma Insurance Department, call 800-522-0071 or visit https://www.ok.gov/oid/.