By Courtney Yanks
“It’s such a warm and good feeling knowing I have all this support from the Blue Springs students and staff,” Kyra Summers.
Spring season in “tornado alley” is in full effect. Every year, those sirens go off for tornado warnings, and fortunately for several years, they have been just warnings. But for Oak Grove residents such as math teacher Kyra Summers, that was not the case this year.
On Monday, March 6, Oak Grove tornado sirens blared, informing citizens of a nearby dangerous tornado. Many residents’ property was damaged or destroyed, though thankfully no lives were lost.
“The tornado lasted maybe 20 seconds, it was that fast,” said Summers, whose home was damaged by the storm.
Weather forecasts throughout the evening increased the likelihood of a tornado hitting the Oak Grove are.
“We lost cable first, then it was this weird feeling, the pressure from the tornado, then crashing and breaking noises. There was leaves and dirt swirling all around, the tornado took the whole back half of my house. Then it all comes to a dead stop.” she recalled
The Oak Grove tornado caused mass destruction, damaging nearly 500 homes. These damages ranged from small dings to entire houses missing with no rhyme or reason as to the pattern of devastation.
“Looking across the street from my house, where there use to be another house, there’s nothing. It’s crazy how the tornado picks and chooses. My house had damage, and [so did] the one next to mine. Two houses away, no damage; it was fine. Next to it, horrible,” Summers said.
For the past 27 days, Oak Grove residents, along with assistance from people in the surrounding areas, have been helping in as many ways as they can to rebuild. Such efforts include raising money, taking time to help pick up and restore homes and buildings in Oak Grove and simply being there to offer emotional support for residents.
“I’ve had so many people from school, neighbors around me, and family and strangers offer their help. [They have been] helping me clean up our area, offering me a place to stay and sending me prayers. I’ve had students come up to me that I’ve never had in class, [and] tell me they’re so happy that my family and I were safe and okay,” Summers said.
Although these times are not the easiest for residents of Oak Grove, Summers she continues to look at the situation with a positive mind set.
“I just feel extremely fortunate that no one was badly injured, fortunate to still have my home disregarding the damages. I’ve had so many people show me they care, it’s just such a blessed feeling,” Summers said.
According to Summers, having strong community support is important in a time such as this, “It’s such a warm and good feeling knowing I have all this support from the Blue Springs students and staff. Although we have all suffered from this disaster, it really has brought our community together.”
Readers who would like to donate to Summer’s cause can do so by visting https://www.gofundme.com/8wc7u-mrs-summers-tornado-relief