The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Storm Coverage

May 22, 2013

Carney tornado victim feels ‘lucky’

CARNEY, Okla. — It didn’t seem as if Carney resident Robbie Clark had a lot to be happy about Wednesday morning as he picked through the rubble of his grandmother’s home. A tornado that skirted Lincoln County Sunday is to blame for the wreckage.

The home’s roof is nowhere to be seen, some of the walls are collapsed and an uprooted tree rests up against it. Several smashed cars were parked nearby — all totaled, Clark said. Plastic, paper and other tattered debris waved in the wind, stuck on fences along U.S. Highway 177.

“We come out pretty lucky,” he said, citing the devastation in Moore that flattened thousands of homes and killed 24 people. Clark’s grandmother, girlfriend, parents and girlfriend’s daughter huddled in the storm shelter as the tornado passed by. They were unharmed.

Just like in Moore, many have stretched their hands to those in need. Church groups, the Red Cross, neighbors and strangers have offered the Clarks aid. He explained in rural communities, even not during a disaster, everyone helps each other out.

“I hate to see this happen but it sure makes you see how many good people are left in this world,” he said.

Clark, an 18-year veteran of the Carney Fire Department, was a responder May 3, 1999, tornado in Moore.

Sunday, he watched helplessly from a truck as the tornado shredded through his town, leaving him with an empty feeling inside. He listened to his cell phone as his loved ones hunkered down in his grandmother’s cellar. A tree fell on the house, the roof was shredded and walls imploded. After the tornado was clear, he worked to free them. His father told him he felt like his ears were popping on an airplane as the tornado passed over. The winds were so powerful the Clark’s 15,000-pound tractor was shoved 10 feet.

“All this can be replaced,” Clark said, gesturing to the wreckage of his grandmother’s home. “Life can’t.”


Hixson writes for Stillwater NewsPress, a CNHI News Service publication.

Text Only
Storm Coverage
  • APTOPIX Severe Weathe_Hass(7).jpg Oklahoma death toll up to 13, with 7 still missing

    Authorities said five children and two adults remain missing and aren't expected to be found alive.

    June 2, 2013 1 Photo 1 Slideshow 2 Stories

  • Red Sox Yankees Baseb_Hass.jpg Damaging storms moving through east, south

    Heavy rain, thunderstorms, high winds and hail moved through sections of the Northeast on Sunday afternoon, leaving 30,000 in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine still without power late that night.

    June 2, 2013 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Severe Weathe_Hass.jpg 3 veteran storm chasers killed by Oklahoma tornado

    "He looked at tornadoes not for the spotlight of TV but for the scientific aspect. At the end of the day, he wanted to save lives and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for that." — Jim Samaras of his brother, Tim Samaras, who died with his son, Paul Samaras, and fellow storm chaser Carl Young during Friday's storms in the OKC area.

    The Discovery Channel planned to dedicate a show Sunday night to the three men, capping the broadcast with a tribute that will read: "In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms."

    June 2, 2013 3 Photos

  • Severe Weather_Hass(38).jpg Sitting targets: On-edge Oklahomans opt to flee tornadoes

    Interstates and roadways already packed with rush-hour traffic quickly became parking lots as people tried to escape the oncoming storm. Motorists were trapped in their vehicles — a place emergency officials say is one of the worst to be in a tornado.

    June 1, 2013 5 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • Severe Weather_Hass(35).jpg Photo slideshow: Tornado outbreak deadly again Tornadoes rolled in from the prairie and slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs Friday, trapping people in their vehicles as it swept down an interstate highway while commuters tried to beat the storm home. A mother and her baby and seven others were killed, but meteorologists who had warned about particularly nasty weather said the storm's fury didn't match that of a deadly twister that struck suburban Moore last week. The tornadoes came after another outbreak on Thursday, May 30, 2013, that caused damage in Broken Arrow and other parts of the state. Tornado damage also is seen from Missouri.

    June 1, 2013 2 Photos

  • Severe Weather_Hass(34).jpg Flooding reported in Metro after tornadoes

    Kristy Yager says city street Superintendent Randy Moulder is waiting for the rain to end before sending crews out to deal with the flooding. Yager says about an inch of water was also standing on the first floor of City Hall.

    May 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • MooreWarren.jpg Moore's Warren Theatre reopening today

    The theater complex sustained $500,000 to $1 million in damages but is structurally sound.

    May 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • Obama Oklahoma Tornad_Hass.jpg FEMA: 1,248 buildings destroyed in Oklahoma tornadoes

    The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency say they've compiled damage assessments from the storms that took place May 19 and May 20.

    May 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • Kennedy tornado_W.jpg Former Enid man came face-to-face with twister

    Moore resident said tornado sounded like a vacuum.

    May 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Tornado-The _Hass(2).jpg Tornado upon them, quick choices decided fate

    With death staring them in the face and adrenaline coursing through their veins, the citizens of Moore were faced with the biggest decisions of their lives, and they had nothing to go on but gut instinct amid raw terror.

    >>Read their stories

    May 25, 2013 3 Photos