Tornadoes touchdown in same place as May 3, 1999

21 May

We’ve cancelled our plans for the week to gather with sibling in OKC, OK.  They survived May 3, 1999 and we believe they are safe.  Maybe they are homeless again, but hopefully safe! We will do the Memorial Day Veteran’s parade another year.

Plans can unravel in a split second when catastrophe happens.  There are no plans more important than life, health and survival. Our new plan will be the same as it was May 3, 1999 … sending blankets, sheets, and medical supplies. Sometimes things happen on a personal level.  This is one of those times!

May 1999 and 2013

The tornado in Oklahoma city area of 1999 generated wind speeds of 318 mph.  It was the fastest speed recorded.  Again, we sit and wait.  Watch the news. Text relatives. Make telephone calls.  Send emails. Leave voicemail messages. We pray. An all too eire reminder what happened on May 3, 1999 except technology advanced to common text messages, emails and cell phones.

Would anyone ever think a tornado would strike the same area twice?  These people are survivors and they know how to handle crisis by experience.  This is one experience no one wants to repeat.

I don’t recall schools with children being destroyed in 1999. There were no warnings in 1999.    This time it seemed there was 16 minutes of warning.  It’s hard to imagine the difference of 16 minutes.  School children were able to take cover, saving hundreds of lives.  One life gone is too many!

Crawling out

It’s hard to imagine the level of destruction.  What we learned from earlier survivors (brother and sister-in-law)  were the simple things we take for granted.  Crawling from under a house is a grueling task.   Human hair gets caught on everything and stuck underneath or between debris. When they finally escape destruction and see daylight they don’t know what to expect.

Confusion or disorientation

This is definitely a different type of confusion precipitated by a weather disaster. The sense of direction is totally gone as they once knew it.  There are NO landmarks.  No streets, no houses, no trees, no stop signs … nothing is familiar.  Some bodies and body parts may be found immediately and others only after sifting through the rubble. 

A home torn apart by the Moore, Oklahoma F5 to...

Personal belongings are no where to be found.  Personal items of total strangers are suddenly thrown about.  Cars that no one can identify may be located near vicinity of ones emergence.  They stand up and look around.  Nothing but silence, except those helping to dig out.  It’s something unimaginable.

Remaining positive

For us we are relatively sure our loved ones have not returned home from a journey overseas, unless they took an earlier flight…that’s unlikely or maybe that’s hopeful! It’s believed they were returning May 21st, but don’t know that with 100% certainty.  I can’t locate the email with the date and time!  In the meantime, we believe their lives were not in jeopardy as so many others.  What’s more fragile than life?

Rebuilding shattered lives is a long pain staking process, personal but possible. Rebuilding housing is secondary with insurance debacles.  If their new home was in the path of destruction again from May 20, 2013 Oklahoma tornado they can rebuild.    Certainly they will not be alone.

This is a strong community.  There is strength in numbers.  We will pray for saving lives as we pray for our family members.


What are the chances a tornado would hit the same area twice?  What are the chances of having two brothers homes hit by tornadoes one in Oklahoma, one in Ohio and a father’s home hit by hurricane in Florida all within a couple of years?

By chance, anything can happen.  It’s simply something we have no control over.  It does happen and life goes on.  Survivors are what we will pray for through another disaster and the recovery process.  Oh brother another tornado! Isn’t that a double meaning?

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**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 



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13 responses to “Tornadoes touchdown in same place as May 3, 1999

  1. philippinewanderer

    May 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Praying that they will have the strength to get through this again. I know your donations were a heavenly-sent idea!

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      May 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      It’s amazing what the human mind and body endure. When crisis occurs in numbers, there is so much support … there is strength in numbers for everything. Of course everyone deals with their own personal frustrations, injuries and changes but they each other to help. Take care and stay safe.

  2. philippinewanderer

    May 21, 2013 at 10:30 am

    What are the chances of having two brothers homes hit by tornadoes one in Oklahoma, one in Ohio and a father’s home hit by hurricane in Florida all within a couple of years?

    How could your dad and brothers prepare, how can anybody? My prayers are with them all.

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      May 25, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      I must not written this clearly. We had plans to visit so we needed to change our plans because of the tornado. The only planning that can happen with tornadoes is to take warnings seriously and go over safety plans. Finding the safest place in the home or knowing where to find a quick place that is safe. We never took tornadoes seriously, until my brother’s home was hit … there was no warnings … he had seconds to react. Hope you and Stephanie are well. Take care and stay safe.

      • philippinewanderer

        May 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        You wrote just fine. I had a head injury you know so I misinterpret things easily.

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        May 25, 2013 at 10:41 pm

        We both do! Head injuries and misinterpret that is!… it’s all good and probably expected from both of us. Hey, we might as well laugh at ourselves. Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Do you have special plans for a long weekend with kids out of school?

  3. behindthemaskofabuse

    May 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    It’s just so awful but I’m glad to hear that you believe your family is safe. Wow what are the odds of your family members being hit so often.

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      May 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Everyone is safe in our family. My brother and wife did not arrive home until 21st May. The most chaos we had was trying to figure out the exact date and time of his arrival (or did he arrive earlier) and deciding to cancel plans with my oldest sister because it’s not right to enter an environment already depleting resources. We both knew he wouldn’t be happy about it, but she’s from Wyoming and me from Michigan and we need to be safe (we are both nurses). Thank you for your kind thoughts. Take care and stay safe.

  4. Vickie

    May 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Great insight on what has happened out in Oklahoma! Thanks! Vickie

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