Today’s severe weather in Lubbock, Texas, (where we’re visiting currently) reminded me of storm stories which have been recently shared in our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices digital storytelling and oral history project. This is a photo I snapped today of storm clouds in Lubbock, just after a tornado warning expired in the SW part of town.
During the tornado warning, we were in a local Target store and had to take shelter inside the building with other customers as well as staff. I used my iPhone and the free Weather Channel application to monitor the local weather radar.
I was able to read the complete National Weather Service warnings and watches from the application as well. You can see the number “5” on the screen indicates a lot of new NWS announcements had been made. Nights like tonight, it is unfortunately necessary to just turn off the weather radio because it seems like it goes off almost every 15 minutes. This basically defeats the idea of having a weather radio, but it becomes pretty annoying when it goes off so frequently for storms that are not coming our way directly. Such is life in the midwestern United States during the spring months.
Here are a few COV storm stories which have been created in the past year by Oklahoma teachers.
Summer in the Cellar by Linda Snyder is one of my favorites. (2 min, 49 sec)
We currently have six videos in the COV learning community which have been tagged “tornado.”
Reflection of the 1945 Tornado in Antlers, Oklahoma by Lenore Branton tells a compelling story. It was interesting this tornado only hit “the white side of town.” (2 min, 12 sec)
The Woodward Tornado by Andrew Boatman tells the story of the deadliest tornado in Oklahoma history. Andrew did a masterful job integrating historical images with his script, which includes personal, family anecdotes as well as “the facts” of the tornado. (2 min, 8 sec)
“Through the Lens of Human Compassion” by Vickie Hull brings out the wonderful ways members of the Cordell community came out in 2001 to support neighbors and friends after a catastrophic tornado. (3 min, 12 sec)
I’m sure these won’t be the last storm stories we share on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices. It can be unnerving to live in tornado alley this time of year, but at least we have better warning systems than ever to try and prevent the loss of life caused by natural disasters. It is wonderful to live in a community which can be so supportive and helpful in a time of crisis. I’ve found midwestern friendliness to be a trademark of both Texas and Oklahoma, as well as Kansas where I grew up. When people comment about the friendliness of midwesterners they aren’t kidding. Not only can midwesterners be friendly, we can also be big-hearted, especially when tragedy strikes a family or an entire community. It is great to be able to help teachers document and share these stories with our state and world.
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