Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt visits Idabel after tornado ravages area

Red Cross sets up shelter for victims
Idabel, Okla. storm damage.
Idabel, Okla. storm damage.(KSLA)
Published: Nov. 5, 2022 at 11:19 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 6, 2022 at 4:43 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt visited Idabel, Okla., on Nov. 5 to see the aftermath of the Nov. 4 severe storms.

Idabel was the epicenter of the damaging tornadoes and storms that hit the ArkLaTex area.

“A lot of damage, you know we are fortunate not a ton of injuries, a few minor injuries,” Stitt said as he spent the morning touring the damage and giving support to the many volunteers working the clean-up. “I will be declaring a declaration of emergency for these four counties. We are just praying and glad it wasn’t worse. And we can rebuild some of these homes. We are hearing of only one fatality, a 90-year-old man.”

“For what I’ve seen, and I haven’t seen all of it, for what I’ve seen, we got multiple houses destroyed and lots of damage,” McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy said. “ McCurtain County was struck by multiple tornadoes last night. We got heavy damage.”

Numerous businesses, homes and places of worship were destroyed or damaged. One of the hardest-hit areas was Country Club Estate, which Leslie DeJesus once called home.

“I’m trying to salvage what I can. My daughter is due in February,” DeJesus said in reference to his home. The storm toppled trees on top of it before ripping off its roof. Fortunately, she was not home at the time.

“I was here with my two nieces and nephews like 10 minutes before the storm hit, and they were getting scared. So I just went to my mom’s house in Broken Bow and we were in the bathtub hiding and literally, the tree felled right in the bathtub,” DeJesus saod.

The building that housed Trinity Baptist Church was no match for the storm.

“It is important to note that it is the building that was destroyed, not the church, the building will be rebuilt,” said Mark Boyd, the director of missions.

Emergency crews are still assessing the total amount of damages left behind by the storm.

According to the American Red Cross, around 185 structures have been affected, dozens of residents have been left homeless and one person has died in southeastern Oklahoma.

At 10 a.m., the Red Cross opened a shelter for people affected by the tornado so victims of the storm have a safe place to rest. The shelter is located at Bypass Church of Christ, 120 West Lincoln Road in Idabel. It will close for overnight stays Monday at 11 a.m. Red Cross disaster workers will remain at the church until further notice.

Choctaw Community Center at 2408 E. Lincoln Road also is open to residents.

A Choctaw Nation Community Health nurse will be set up in the Caring Van in the parking lot outside the Choctaw Nation Community Center in Idabel from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. Monday to give tetanus shots.

For more updates on recovery or resources, visit https://twitter.com/RedCrossOK or https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRedCrossOklahoma.

Storm damage in Idabel. >>>

Reports of damage coming in as severe storms pass through ArkLaTex

As tornadoes and severe storms move across the ArkLaTex, reports of damage are beginning to pour in.