Oklahomans keep an eye on Sandy, relatives back East

TULSA - Superstorm Sandy may be hundreds of miles away from Oklahoma, but for some Tulsans it hits close to home.

As they watch the news, they're reaching out to family members who live back east.

We tracked down some former Oklahomans living in New York City. Their families here say their hearts are with them.

As Sandy slams into cities along the eastern seaboard, Tulsan Daniel Lozano is keeping his eye on the Big Apple. He has extended family in the New York City area.

"So I'm trying to keep up with what's going on over there. I'm trying to do my best to you know, keep up with everything," Lozano said.

His cousin Hector Castillo lives in Yonkers. We spoke to Castillo by phone just as the storm moved in and he lost power.

"It's dark, and it's windy. And I have never experienced anything like this in New York," he said.

"It's very windy, and it looks like lightning. But it's not lightning. It's the um, I guess, power. Cables are breaking, and it looks like lightning."

Castillo says he's keeping touch with family.

"Well thank God that we're okay, and we're safe, and I just pray for the rest of everybody here in New York," Castillo said.

Back in Tulsa, his cousin Lozano hopes Sandy won't be as destructive as predicted.

"I hope it's just, not too bad. It will leave a little scarring, but hopefully people will move forward and go on with their lives," he said.

An emergency command center has been up and running in New York City for more than 24 hours.

Former Oklahoman Anthony Hayes has been there to provide media updates. He works for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"Various bridges have been closed, tunnels will be closed when appropriate. Again, it's sort of assessing where the weather is moving and what it's doing," Hayes said.

While Hayes is busy in New York, his family in Claremore is checking in.

"So I'm updating Facebook, letting everybody know I'm safe and sound," he said.  

Former Tulsan Ruby Whitney is riding out the storm in upstate New York near Albany. She doesn't expect her town to get hit as bad as New York City, but she's still prepared.

"For us, besides the wind and the rain, I don't think it's going to be too bad. And if we do lose power, we have a generator, so we've prepared pretty much for what's going to happen here," she said.

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