Weather Alerts 1 View »

Tucson relief workers say OK storms weighing on residents & volunteers

Maggie Vespa

  • Play

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Tucson relief workers say OK storms weighing on residents & volunteers

By Maggie Vespa. CREATED Jun 3, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Within days of those first monster storms, help was on the way from right here in Tucson.

Those leading the charge say this latest stretch of deadly weather is weighing heavily on relief workers.
 
After three days in the tornado ravaged region, George Fahrman knew the sirens could be just the beginning.
 
"You have to wait until it sounds like a freight train."
 
Fahrman, works for Tucson's Community Food Bank.
 
He was deployed to Oklahoma to help drive donations from town to town.
 
Friday, he spent four-plus hours in the lobby of his Oklahoma City hotel, a tornado passing by just a few miles away.
 
"The sky was completely black," he said.  "It's like a monsoon on a much larger scale."
 
At the same time a few miles south, two more Tucsonans huddled inside a closet.
 
"It was a really dark sky, which is concerning," said Gwen Corner.
 
Corner and Kaitlyn Snyder work with World Care.
 
They, like Fahrman, spent the weekend surveying the damage.
 
They say residents see these storms as a fact of life.
 
"They're used to it," said Fahrman.
 
"It's more, 'Well this is Oklahoma.  This is what we do,'" said Corner.
 
But they add, this has been more than most can handle.
 
"Everybody's just tired of the bad weather," said Fahrman.
 
He says that became especially true when word spread of these latest casualties, including a trio of veteran storm chasers.
 
"I don't know where any of the shelters are," said Fahrman.  "I don't know exactly what's going on, so if he didn't know then it makes me nervous."
 
And they are nerves that are remaining raw, as survivors and workers dig through the rubble of a city seemingly under seige.
 
Corner and Snyder made it back to Tucson today.
 
They say your donations made it to Oklahoma safe and sound.
 
Fahrman plans to stay in the area through the end of next week.