Neighbors open up storm cellar to neighbors


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Updated: 5/24/2013 6:17 pm Published: 5/24/2013 2:57 pm


In the aftermath of a tornado outbreak in central Oklahoma, there are numerous stories of people coming together as a community.

FOX23's Melissa Hawkes talked a man who made sure his neighbors had a safe place to go when the tornado passed through.

Before the storm hit neighbors opened the gate so neighbors could get into the storm cellar in their backyard.

"Going in a storm cellar can be terrifying, so what we did was give them all paint and let them draw in there and painted different designs,” Doug and Jan told FOX23.

This is their storm cellar. Last year, the couple had all the children in the neighborhood come over and paint the walls to make sure they would never be scared to go inside.

When Monday’s EF5 tornado touched down ten of his neighbors, including some of those kids were sitting inside.

"We texted all of our neighbors to let them know so they could get down in here," he said.

Doug and Jan weren't with them; they were 60 miles away, watching the tornado on TV.

“We watched the tornado as it came over right on top of our house."

Homes next door were blown away, roofs ripped off, cars thrown in the street.

But his neighbors walked up the stairs and opened up the cellar doors untouched.

“The damage doesn't even matter to us, what was important was making sure our neighbors, our family was safe and that was important to us," they said.

Reinforcing that thought is the quote written on the storm cellar wall: "not only are we neighbors we are family, too."


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