By Adam Troxtell and Tiffany Martinez
The Chickasha Police Department traveled to West Moore yesterday afternoon following the devastation from an EF-4 tornado that ripped through the community.
“We currently have seven officers responding right now,” Police Chief Eddie Adamson said. “We are sending emergency equipment and command vehicles with our officers. They will be apprized on the situation from the Moore police and relay any information they receive that will allow us to help any further.”
The damage this tornado caused is being compared to a similar storm that struck the same area of the state in May of 1999.
The best thing the public can do right now, Chief Adamson said, is pray.
In addition, the Red Cross is spearheading relief efforts in Moore, but is currently not in a position to request for specific assistance.
"At this point, the situation is still developing. Right now, the best thing for people to do is to make sure loved ones are OK," Christopher Sommer, Red Cross regional communication director, said.
People can do this at safeandwell.org, which has options for people to either search registrants or register themselves as safe and well.
"The next best thing is to, right now, stay away from the affected area,” Sommer said. “We are communicating with first responders who say there are downed power lines and gas leaks, so it is very unsafe. When we get to the point where we're requesting volunteers, we will do that as needed."
Grady County residents can offer immediate assistance by donating money to the Red Cross, Sommer said.
There are options to donate on the Red Cross website, redcross.org. Individuals can also call 1-800-REDCROSS or send the word "Redcross" in a text message to 90999 to make an automatic $10 donation.
"As it unfolds, we will see additional needs come up,” Sommer said, “but we're not certain of those at the moment. We do really appreciate the support from the community. It fuels the first responders in their efforts."
In addition to obvious needs, Sommer said the Red Cross’ initial efforts will include psychological help to those left devastated by the monstrous twister.
"For something like this, there will be an immediate need for psychological care,” Sommer said. “It can be very traumatic losing your home and seeing loss of life. There will also be an outpouring of support with physical supplies, such as food and water. As those needs come up, we will seek assistance."