Darlene Doskoch of Williams Lake said it was hard to be too far away to help look for friends and family that were missing after tornados touched down in Oklahoma.
Doskoch is originally from Oklahoma and has a sister living in Shawnee, where a tornado hit on Sunday.
Her family is OK, but it was touch and go during Sunday and Monday, when texting was Doskoch’s only means of communication with her sister.
“Shawnee was hit on Sunday,” Doskoch said. “My sister Shannon’s house was fine, it wasn’t damaged, but when the tornado hit on Monday in Moore, it was half a kilometre from her sons, Frank and John’s school.”
The boys go to Westmoore High School and Brink Junior High.
Their dad, Kurt Schultz, was on the other side of the Oklahoma city when the tornado hit Moore, and it wasn’t until 7 p.m. Monday evening that he was able to get to his sons.
“We were texting because cell service was really spotty,” Doskoch said.
“She was searching for friends and trying to get to her boys. She kept saying, it’s so bad honey. It’s really bad, you have no idea. It’s bad. I thought I lost my boys Dar.”
Doskoch first heard about the tornado when she went on Facebook and noticed that one of her friends in Oklahoma had posted a note asking prayers for her mom and BJ because they’re taking cover in their basements in Ramona.
“Ramona’s where I lived before I moved to Williams Lake,” Doskoch explained.
“I tried to text my friend Marty in Ramona to ask her if the tornado had hit and if everyone was OK because the woman I lived with in Ramona is in a wheelchair and wouldn’t be able to get away on her own.”
Doskoch learned her friends were all safe and nobody was injured, but when she saw photographs of the devastation, she described it as “brutal.”
“It was huge. Luckily there’s a lot of farm land out there in Ramona, and the tornado didn’t stay on the ground too long there.”
Growing up in Oklahoma, she went through a few tornados as a kid, but nothing like the ones that occurred there the last few days, she said.
“It’s been pretty scary all around. It was four kilometres wide. It was huge.”
On Wednesday clean up efforts continued in the tornado’s aftermath.
Corresponding through social media Wednesday, Schultz said a massive cleanup is underway.
“Obviously in that area there is sporadic phone service but I believe power is beginning to be restored,” Schultz said. “Monica I cannot begin to explain the outpouring of love and generosity our great state is receiving not only from within but from outside Oklahoma. Those of us who live here know what amazing people okies are yet it’s still overwhelming to see how we always come together as one when our precious state is hurt.”
Schultz said 24 people have been confirmed dead, nine of which are children.
“Two huge tornados in two days was two too many. But we are Oklahoma strong,” Schultz added.