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Cookson community comes together to clean up storm damage after tornado upends homes

Posted at 10:28 PM, Dec 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-02 23:28:36-05

COOKSON, Okla. -- From sunrise to sunset on Sunday, it was hard to escape the sound of chainsaws.

In the Chicken Creek neighborhood, homeowners said the damage was 100 times better than Saturday morning.

"Jumped in the tub, then ran around the corner and then opened the door and it was gone and I looked out and was just in total shock," Brian Johnston said.

Many cleaning up over the weekend only barely escaped injury. One was looking for his dog when he sliced open his forehead.

"I went down there to try and find him and I was trying to get through some trees and I got tangled up, fell straight down, and hit a stump that was out. I felt up here and I was just split wide open," Jim Whitener said.

Sixteen stitches and a few hours later, he was on the ground helping as well.

"I was supposed to be laying flat for three days but I've got too much to do around here. So I've been supervising, how about that?" Whitener said.

When vacation homeowners came into town the scene is not what they expected, with some trailers entirely flipped over.

"When we got here... the whole patio was gone, the whole roof was gone, trees through the trailers," Staci Jorgenson said.

Organizations like the Southern Baptist Convention said just over a dozen volunteers could show up over the weekend, but that number will grow. The goal is to clear away all the damage before Christmas.

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