Posted on May 21, 2013 by Carol Hartzog

We checked in with some of our membership. We knew you would want to know how they are.

"We are all OK but the tornado split between two of our neighborhoods, clipping the north side, wasting about eight homes under construction. Miraculously, it didn't scape any slabs of existing homeowners, but did heavy damage. Unbelievable mess down there."

-- Todd Booze, Ideal Homes, Norman, OSHBA vice president

"Our home is about a mile south of the path. We didn't have any damage. As far as homes under construction, they were out of the path as well. -- Moore Home Builders Association president Pete Jackson, who rode out the storm in a shelter.

Shawnee Home Builders Association president Greg Brown said they are still reeling from Sunday's tornado. No damage to him or any of his homes.

Marvin Haworth, former Moore HBA president, and longtime builder in the area, has many friends and former customers who have losses and damage and used to build in the area.

Haworth developed the neighborhood around Briarwood Creek Elementary School.

"A lot of people I know lost everything," Haworth said as he was able to drive in some of the area Monday afternoon before it was locked down.

"I've been talking some people this morning. My daughter's boyfriend's little 8-year-old boy was in the Plaza Towers school. They couldn't find him at first. It was pretty scary. They did find him, though. Everyone we know is safe and sound.

Haworth wasn't in the office Monday afternoon so wife Shelia decided to close the office early due to the impending storms. Thankfully she did, he said, as the secretary's little girl was picked up early from day-care -- the day-care that was struck head-on.

"This is worse than the 99 tornado. It's unbelievable, of what I've seen so far. We rebuilt 30 or 40 homes for previous customers in 99. I'm sure I will this time. Everybody's just kind of lost. Luckily, the city government and rescue workers are organized. They are getting organized, but we'll get there."

For the short-term, he asks members to donate to the Red Cross. Both the Moore HBA and Southwest Home Builders Association for the last five years have given $5,000 each to the Red Cross, primarily because the outstanding work they personally saw by the organization in the May 3, 1999 tornado.

The Cleveland County Red Cross was huge help back in '99, he said. "We're seeing it again. Meals and water. It's a good place for your dollars."

Anything to tell the OSHBA group?

"Keep us in your prayers. A lot of needs being met right now, but as that support dwindles some, I think the home builders association can step in and help us at that time. Members, keep that in mind. There will be needs to be met later on, and so you need to be prepared."

In the meantime, our prayers are with the victims, the rest of the community and the first-responders like this one, who was at the Plaza Hills elementary school Monday, from his wife: "He is good. I think he is going on pureadrenaline. I don't think he has stopped to think, but I thinkit will hit him in a few days. He looks at is as it is his job, ya know? He didn't have to remove children, but the rescuers only got to about one-quarter of the school. He was sore this morning because they used jack hammers all night to drill through concrete. He had to go and recover some bodies from a ravine. Not a good situation...."

And we end on this: @JonFisher on Twitter sent out a plea for a three-bedroom home he could rent month-to-month.

We re-tweeted it from the state Realtors Association. A Realtor in Lawton/Fort Sill saw our post and relayed her availability. COHBA former president Kurt Dinnes offered up: "I lost a rent house in Moore and my others are rented. Thanks for asking.I pray they find one."

tornado damage

Our team pays it forward. What a great group of people. Another offered a home at 24th and Classen. Free, but just keep it clean.'

And we referred Fisher to the OSHBA website when the time comes to rebuild. That's what we are here for. All within about an hour. Done. In your service. We'll keep you updated.

"What's left of my house is the red one in the middle." - Jon Fisher of Moore






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