Day after deadly tornado blows through Quapaw, community begins recovering with help of volunteers

QUAPAW, Okla. - "I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land," Larry Moore joyfully sang as hammered a tarp to a roof. Moore and his team of volunteers worked all day, repairing broken roofs all over Quapaw.

As Moore went from roof to roof, he kept singing, and swinging his hammer.

As soon as the tornado exited the small Oklahoma town last night, Moore got in his truck. 

PHOTO GALLERY: Damage from April 27, 2014 tornadoes

"I just loaded up the truck and headed this way and got here 6:30 last night," Moore said.

He made the drive over from Grove. Moore said he came as a chaplain and volunteer with South Baptist Convention Disaster Relief of Oklahoma.

When he reached Quapaw, "my heart just began to break for the people," Moore said. "What they were going through. Some of these folks went through the tornado in Picher. I was there after that tornado."

Six years later and about six miles from Picher, the scene looked the same today. Homes leveled, debris blown in all directions. Moore and his volunteer crew are now doing what they can to help Quapaw and its people heal, one roof at a time.

The people of Quapaw today, more than willing to accept some help.

"I've never seen so many people trying to help," Susan Lawson said. "It is just great."

Lawson had part of her roof torn off during the tornado. A storm that came and left in a matter of seconds. 

"I got in the closet and about 30 seconds later it was over, she said."

This evening Moore and his team came to help Lawson. She worked to clear her lawn of debris, and Moore kept singing as he repaired her roof. 

"There is nothing you can say to people like that, other than thank you and mean it," Susan Lawson said, pointing to Moore and his team of volunteers as they repaired her roof. "They are doing it because they want to do it. They don't like to do it. They want to do it."

As Moore's crew finished working for the day, "did we do a good enough job to come back tomorrow?," he asked a group of people.

After patching roof after roof, it looked like they definitely did a good job today, for a town that could use a few more helping hands in the coming days and perhaps a bit more of Moore's singing to raise spirits in Quapaw. 

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