GERONIMO, Okla. (TNN) - Two homes were destroyed in a tornado Saturday morning three miles east of Geronimo. Now, homeowners are picking up the pieces.
Marion and Weldon Simmons have lived in their home since the 1970s.
“The first four houses that the Comanche Tribe built. They built this house, and there was four of us from the very start," said Marion. "It’s been a good house. I’ve had a lot of wind come through, but nothing like this.”
Severe storms passed through the area Saturday morning, without warning.
“I asked him if there was anything on the weather radio that he heard, because I heard the thunder. ‘No. There’s nothing on there.’ I said OK," said Marion. "I laid back down and looked in my window on my right, my bed was right by the window. I saw that tree, that big tree right there, and the wind come up and it was falling.”
Simmons jumped up to get out of the way, and when she did, the whole wall fell on top of her. Luckily, her injuries were minor.
“It was just a horrible experience," said Marion. "You know, I’ve never been in that experience before, and it was just, I don’t know. You can’t imagine unless you’re in it, yourself.”
Simmons and her family are left to pick up the pieces.
“I lost a lot of my Indian things that were real precious to me, that was my mother’s. I had beaded moccasins and things like that, to me, that I’ll never have again," said Marion. "My pictures that were on the wall, they’re gone. All my old pictures that I had of Indian, you know, my relatives and my parents and everything.”
“Trying to keep what we can and help them," said Bonita Paddyaker, Weldon Simmons’ sister. "Those little memories like Marion was talking about earlier, we’re still looking for some of those things that mean so much to her. We haven’t found them, but hopefully we will.”
Paddyaker works with Comanche Nation Emergency Management, helping assist those in need when disaster strikes. But this time is close to home.
“Because it’s my brother, his home," said Paddyaker. "The main thing was just making sure that they were safe and I just thank God you know that they both got out alive.”
Paddyaker said there is still much work to be done, but there is a silver lining...
“Continue to help them until they’re restored,” said Paddyaker. “It brought us closer together yesterday, I know.”