Saturday: Altus storm recovery update

ALTUS_ Power is back on for about 70% of Altus in the aftermath of Thursday night's storms. On Saturday, recovery efforts were moving right along after powerful winds toppled poles and lines knocking out electricity service to thousands. Volunteers lined debris filled streets eager to help their neighbors in need.

Two days later, many residents of the hard hit Coyote Ridge apartments are still not sure where they are going to live now. "We are in a hotel right now. We're trying to get all of our stuff out today, pack it up before the building collapses," said Theresa Balaguy.

Altus Emergency Management says its trying to help. "It's just been great,great cooperation not only from our local partners, but from out of state and federal partners as well," said director Lloyd Colston.

The city says they will not be able to restore power to some homes because of meter damage. Those who do have damage will have to call an electrician to make the proper repairs before electric service can be turned back on.

Safety is one of biggest concerns right now for Altus emergency management. Whether it be food safety because of a lack of refrigeration, debris removal safety, or heat safety because of the sweltering temperatures.

A shelter remains open at the Altus Community Center and officials say they've served more than 200 meals since opening on Friday. It's also where storm victims can register for assistance from the American Red Cross.

Volunteers were up bright and early to lend their support. "We are family, and although my family wasn't personally affected by this storm, we're out her today cause we had a lot of people in our community that had downed trees, no power, no water, things like that and we consider them family so we're out here to help them," said volunteer Jennifer Baker.

"It's amazing what God can do, you have no control of it, all we can do is step up and serve," said volunteer Joe Leveille.

"The citizens of Altus, Oklahoma need to be proud of their department employees," said Colston. "They have produced tremendous amounts of effort, and gone well above the call of duty in serving their customers."