Tribes come to the rescue of members affected by El Reno tornado

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EL RENO, Okla. -The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes are helping their own weather the storm following a devastating tornado.

“I was scared ’cause I didn’t know which way to go, I couldn’t see nothing. All I heard was a train coming,” said Guy Hicks.

Hicks, his wife, two daughters, and six grandchildren were having a birthday party in their Skyview mobile home when the tornado hit late Saturday night.

“We was in the trailer and all I could think of was putting all the kids in the restroom, in the bathtub so we was just pushing everyone in there,” said Hicks.

“If you have never been in a tornado, I just hope and pray that you never do because it’s really, really scary. And I have lived 51 years of life already and this is my new grandbaby just starting her life, and I would have done anything so I wouldn’t have lost any of my grandbabies,” said Chereesa Hicks, Guy’s wife.

The Hicks and their family made it through the storm with only a couple of bumps and bruises, but they were left homeless.

“We didn’t have no place to go ’cause that’s the only place that we had,” said Guy.

That’s when the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes stepped in.

“Everybody that came out of that tornado, they have no clothes. We had a young couple that came here that just had their hospital gowns on,” said Alan Fletcher.

Fletcher is in charge of Emergency Management for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. He says donated clothes, blankets, and supplies came in Monday from a collection at their casino in Clinton.

The tribes have put four Cheyenne and Arapaho families up at a hotel in west El Reno where they can come together and help each other through the devastation.

“We are all a tight-knit community, working together with our neighbors,” said Fletcher.

“People just came out of the woodwork to help everybody. I was amazed by it,” said Guy Hicks.

“I can’t even name everyone that has helped but I’m very, very thankful,” said Chereesa Hicks.

Fletcher says Saturday night’s storm makes him grateful to be able to help others.

“Life is short. We are not granted tomorrow, appreciate what we have today,” said Fletcher.

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