Clean-up begins after couple, baby killed in storm
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Saturday, September 08, 2012
11/01/12 at 12:54 PM
Correction: A Tulsa World story incorrectly implied who found Ron Lee Inman, 73, Rosella Darlene Inman, 70, and their great-granddaughter after they were killed Friday in a storm near Nowata. The search was led by Nowata firefighters, neighbors and other family members. This story has been corrected.
NOWATA - Jerry Inman and other searchers found his parents and 4-month-old great niece amid piles of plywood and furniture in a field.
"It's like the house just exploded," he said. "It happened so fast that they were still in their chairs."
The mobile home apparently had broken apart dozens of yards east of its foundation. Doors, appliances and children's toys peeked indiscriminately from the debris.
Ron Lee Inman, 73, Rosella Darlene Inman, 71, and their great-granddaughter were killed in the house near U.S. 169 and Nowata County Road 200 after a powerful cold front brought extreme winds and severe thunderstorms to northeastern Oklahoma on Friday.
Wind also damaged several nearby homes and toppled two tractor-trailer rigs in Ottawa County, killing one truck driver.
Jerry Inman and his parents' neighbors said they believed that a tornado was to blame for their damage, but a National Weather Service forecaster said radar did not detect a rotation. The area was under a severe thunderstorm warning.
The Weather Service was surveying the damage Saturday.
"We've had tornadoes around here before, and I have never seen them take somebody's home with them in it like this," Jerry Inman said. "If my dad had known there was a tornado, he'd have had them all in the cellar."
More than a dozen family members were sifting through the debris Saturday morning, stacking the plywood and collecting sentimental items.
Terry Inman, Jerry Inman's brother, found his mother's cell phone. Cindy Carter dusted off an old photo. Jerry Inman pulled his father's horse saddle from a creek.
"They're telling me I can get a lot of money for this," Jerry Inman said. "I won't sell it. I can't."
Down the street, members of Nowata's Living Word Church were picking up branches from the yard of a badly-damaged house the church rents to its pastor, Matt Rowe. Rowe and three other people were in the house when the storm hit.
"The good thing is no one was hurt," church member Cindy Jauhola said. "The pastor and his family are staying in Pryor until we can determine that the house is structurally safe."
The residents of two houses across the street told church members that they lost everything because they had no insurance to cover their damage, Jauhola said.
"Right here, this area got hit pretty bad," she said.
Read more in Sunday's Tulsa World.
Jerry Inman takes a break from cleaning up Saturday after his parents' mobile home was destroyed in Friday afternoon's storm. ZACK STOYCOFF/Tulsa World
Relatives Chub and Cindy Carter comfort Jerry Inman on Saturday. ZACK STOYCOFF/Tulsa World
Family members clean up debris Saturday where a mobile home broke apart several dozen yards east of its foundation. Next to where the house used to sit, a metal barn (background) is undamaged. ZACK STOYCOFF/Tulsa World
ZACK STOYCOFF/Tulsa World