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'In a matter of seconds, it's gone'| Barnsdall woman loses home

Barnsdall storm victim
Posted at 10:27 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 14:20:39-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Barnsdall grandmother is picking up her life after a tornado went through the town on May 6.

The National Weather Service rated the storm an EF4 in some parts of Barnsdall.
"That’s how fast your life can change. In a matter of seconds, it's gone," said Helen Dowling a tornado survivor.

She was still processing what happened when 2 News met her at what was left of her house. She was looking at her home and the neighborhood she once knew when she got emotional.

"It’s just devastation everywhere. It’s awful, people are dead, some people are not found. And where do you go from here?" said Dowling.

She repeated that question multiple times. It's something she said she will have to figure out soon.  

For now, it was taking in the damage that happened in the town

Dowling's home was not only special to her. It was grandma's house for her family.

"I worked my all my life to pay off my property. And was proud to say I owned my property," said Dowling.

Her home was in the neighborhood hit by an EF-1 tornado on April 1. She said she celebrated her house didn't suffer damage at that time.

"Last month we were doing a happy dance and praising the lord and saying ‘Yeah we made it.' Now we are just praising the lord that we are still alive," she said.

Unfortunately being on disability forced her to make hard choices. One of those choices was to sacrifice homeowners insurance.

She is staying with her daughter as they try to figure out those next steps. But for now, she is taking it one step at a time.

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