Storm destroys home, topples rail cars in Inola

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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 4/18/2013 1:08 pm Published: 4/18/2013 12:24 pm

Trailers topped, barns destroyed, and even railroad cars knocked off tracks from strong winds in Inola Wednesday night.

Alaina Howell lives on E 615 Road south of Inola and says first, it started with lots of rain.

“Then it was just loud, and the trailer shook.”

She says that’s when she knew it was time to take cover.

“I told my husband and the kids they needed to get the bedroom. I was watching the TV and I saw exactly where [the storm] was at.”

It was headed straight for Inola and a little too close to home. Howell lives just two trailers down from one the storm completely damaged, leaving behind only a pile of wood and a family’s belongings.

“I didn’t realize how big it was until I walked out of the trailer,” Howell began. “And we noticed our neighbors had been hit worse”

That was William Jerrell’s home. FOX23’s Janai Norman spoke with him as he returned to check out the damage for the first time in the daylight. He recalled getting out of the trailer not long before the storm came ripping through.

“We got out probably about 12:15,” Jerrell says. “We went to a friend's house, and when we got back to our house it was just torn apart”

He estimates it was between 12:45 and 1:00 a.m. the first time he returned and saw his home was completely toppled it. Thursday afternoon the home sits away from the foundation where it once stood, knocked onto its roof from the winds.

Jerrell says, “If I'd been there I don't know what would've happened.”

Howell’s family stayed put, outlasting the storm, and its damage. Across the street seven to eight railroad cars lay partially or completely on their side.

Howell says her family just got lucky.

“I feel like god had us in his hands, so I feel very blessed.”

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