EL RENO, Okla. – Among the dozens of those displaced by Saturday night’s tornado at Skyview Trailer Park is a mother who said she had no warning it was coming.
Alisa Hamlett was in her home, about to fix a late dinner, when the tornado tore through her neighborhood.
“I was sitting on my bed, and then all at once everything started going,” she said. “Everything just starts falling on top of us.”
It was all she could do to shield her three-year-old from falling debris as the ceiling came down on them.
“I had bricks on top of me, like big pieces of brick on top of me trying to keep them from hitting [her].”
He husband was outside in a car out of control.
“[He] went out to roll up the windows to the car, my suburban, and with him in, it spun around several times,” Hamlett said, “and all he could think of was he needs to watch where the house goes so he can follow to get the kids out.”
Between the two of them, there were nine kids to account for, searching through the pitch black and rubble trying to find them.
“I couldn’t some of the kids,” Hamlett said. “They were screaming. I’m telling them to call 911 because I can’t get to them.”
But they weren’t alone. Her neighbors rushed to her aid.
“We were in the house and she came over pounding on my window saying, ‘Sidonna, I can’t find Javyn,'” said neighbor Sidonna Jeans. “I’m going, trying to get my boots on, trying, ‘I’m coming! I’m coming!”
But another neighbor, Shane Clark, got there first, helping pull them out of the wreckage.
“I could hear them screaming from the front,” Clark said, “and there was just enough room for me to squeeze between what’s left of ours and hers, and I don’t know how I did it, I busted through or whatever.”
Now Hamlett and her family are staying with relatives and trying to work out their next move after everything they owned was lost.
“Go day by day, that’s all I can do,” she said. “My kids are all alive so I’m thankful.”