Business owner meets with Gov. Mary Fallin as governor assesses tornado damage

Posted at 9:00 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 22:38:36-04

TULSA - Businesses hit by Sunday's tornado are starting to rebuild and figure out how to move forward, and one of them caught the attention of Governor Mary Fallin during her tour of the damage Tuesday afternoon. 

Gov. Fallin said she's proud of the Oklahomans that came together despite Sunday's tragedy, and she promised one business owner who's suffering loss, if they needed anything, she'd be there. 

"We were very, very blessed that our building was not completely demolished," said Oklahoma Disaster Restoration General Manager Tammy Stokes to Governor Mary Fallin. 

The irony of the story is almost painful. 

"The roof was ripped off from over 20 percent of the building."

Sunday Morning Tammy Stokes got a call from one of her employees. 

"Hey boss, it's raining in the shop, we need to get someone out here," she told the governor. 

The vicious winds and pelting rain from Sunday's tornado destroyed her storm restoration business. 

“We came up here it was about 1:30 and it was very ominous, it was crazy.”

Power lines were down, and the water rose above her feet. 

So in those early morning hours every single one of her employees responded to do what they're used to doing for everyone else. 

“That’s a really funny feeling for her to be the victim per se and having the damage done, and having to call her friends that are competitors, colleagues to help her," Governor Fallin, said. 

“You have a new respect for the feelings you go through with that type of loss," Stokes said. 

The state's Emergency Management Department Director said he'll be in town to assess all of the damage. 

“We want to see what exactly the unmet needs are to work with our volunteer organizations as well as SBA and FEMA to see what we can get as well as federal and state assistance," said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood. 

And he promised the lack of sirens would be looked into. 

“We always look for ways to improve, but sometimes technology can’t keep up with mother nature."

For now, Tammy and her team are running out of a mobile command station as they put the community's needs before their own. 

“It’s like an elephant, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

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