Durant Casino Resort employee Shawn Lyday, right, delivers hot meals to two Tushka residents affected by the April 14 tornado.

Choctaw Nation Helps Tornado Victims

ICTMN Staff
4/21/11

The Choctaw Nation in southeastern Oklahoma joined other relief workers in rallying around residents of Tushka this week, where two people died, at least 25 were injured and 149 homes were completely destroyed in an April 14 tornado.

Choctaw Nation members cooked and delivered meals to some of the 2,700 people left without power in the days following the storm, as well as to the volunteers helping them, serving more than 1,000 meals in the 24 hours after the storm and doling out 1,200 hamburgers and hotdogs daily, the release said.

The tribe also provided groups such as the Red Cross, churches and other relief workers with $3,00 in large tarps and four generators for medical needs, plus at least 20 pallets of water. The nation also donated lunch sacks, sandwich bags and chips for 4,000 sack meals to help the Voca Baptist Church continue to give out 800 bag lunches a day.

“The minor things the tribe can help with like bottled water and food—we are happy to provide to everyone affected by the storm—Indian or non-Indian,” said Chief Gregory Pyle in a statement.

“The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is proud to be one of those able to answer the call as well, providing aid to storm victims by offering resources for food, water, supplies and services, and will continue to do so for as long as needed,” the tribe said in its April 18 press release.

The National Weather Service gave the tornado an EF3 rating on the Enhanced Fujita scale, the Associated Press reported. It killed two people and injured at least 25 others, the AP said.

The devastation was part of a rash of tornadoes that started in Oklahoma but touched down in Arkansas before heading to the deep south, part of a storm system that killed at least 44 people across six states, the AP said. At least 21 tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma on April 15, the Weather Service offices in Norman and Tulsa told the wire service. Besides the destroyed homes, the total 237 affected dwellings include 33 that need repairs and 47 that need major repairs before they can be lived in again. Only 42 percent were covered by insurance, the Choctaw release said.

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