|Damage from Wednesday's tornado in Moore, Oklahoma|
Residents of one senior housing complex
said they were locked out of a tornado shelter during the storm.
First of all, as I previously noted, Moore has been repeatedly hit by tornadoes, including three monster, fatal ones in the past 16 years. There have been 12 tornadoes within Moore city limits since 1950.
The one that hit Moore Wednesday was weaker than those monsters, but it developed so quickly that there was no tornado warning in effect, even though local television stations were showing it sweep through town from their news helicopters.
Then, Accuweather set off a debate by saying how much better it is for warning about the tornado when the National Weather Service did, though people in Moore had no access to the Accuweather warnings unless they had previous paid for their services.
Now, television station KOCO in Oklahoma City brings us a disturbing story about a storm shelter that was locked when residents of a Moore senior living community tried to gain access to it as the tornado approached.
"When Tommie Grunhof and other seniors living on her side of the property rushed to one of the shelters, the door would not budge.
'It scared me half to death,' Grunhof said. 'I looked around at all the other people that were coming, the look on their faces, frightened and scared, and there were kids, too.'"
Luckily, the tornado bypassed the senior community, known as Langley Village.
However, there's no doubt the people trying to get into the shelter would have been in big danger had the tornado hit them.
The storm ripped roofs from homes and businesses, overturned cars and hurled down power lines. At least 20 people were injured in Moore by the tornado.
Langely Village Manager Linda Minnick said a contractor had been told two months ago to make keys for all the residents that would get them into the storm shelter, but they keys were not ready in time for Wednesday's tornado.
That contractor should have made sure the keys were in the hands of residents immediately, and the managers at Langely Village should have REALLY pressured the contractor for those keys. (They were finally distributed on Thursday.)
Minnick also suggested that maybe the reason Grunhof and others couldn't get into the shelter was that somebody already made it in there, locked the door in a panic, thus not letting anybody in.
Grunhof rejects that argument. "Nobody is that cruel that they're going to go in and leave the rest of us out."
But here's the worst part, says KOCO:
"Grunhof and another resident who complained about the locked shelter, however, said they received termination letters.
'Grounds of terminating tenancy: Menacing or verbally or physically abusing the manager or other employees.'"
That's right. She and another person are being evicted. For complaining about no access to a tornado shelter.
The two under threat of termination probably were upset. Maybe yelled at Minnick or somebody else. But it was an upsetting situation. Evicting them seems a little extreme.
Maybe it's retaliation for telling their story to KOCO, I don't know.
I hope this is just a big misunderstanding. Stay tuned.