McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 20, 2013

As Moore rebuilds, survivors still face loss

MOORE — Six months after the May 20 tornado, Moore is rebuilding at a rapid pace. However, for many who lost everything in the storm recovery is an uphill battle.

“Every day I am still living tornado, tornado, tornado,” Jaime Russell-Bartlett said. Her family home was lost. It once stood about four houses from Briarwood Elementary School, which was hit directly. Her sister, who lived 14 houses down, also lost her home.

The family is rebuilding about one mile from where they used to live, and Russell-Bartlett’s sister has bought an already constructed home. Now the sisters will live 25 houses apart instead of 14.

Leaving Moore was never an option.

“It’s not going to do me any good to run,” Russell-Bartlett said. “I grew up in Moore. That whole left side of Moore is where my life is. People who grabbed their stuff and ran out of Oklahoma, I don’t understand.”

Six months after the storm, she is immersed in home construction.

“It’s a big strain on your entire life,” she said.

The process is stressful for the entire family. She said her son got a bad grade on a first grade assignment because he couldn’t remember his address. Russell-Bartlett said nobody realized that the little boy had lost his home and had since had three new addresses.

While they live in a rental home and work with builders and contractors on the new house, the family continues to deal with insurance companies.

Then there are the times when the family is simple faced with the fact that things they took for granted are gone.

“The other day when it was so cold, I realized I don’t have a winter coat.” Off to the store she went. Again.

Everything vanished on May 20.

“There was nothing salvageable,” she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State House
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.