El Paso Family Needs Help After Joplin Tornado
POSTED: Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:33pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 9:13pm
EL PASO - The ripple effects from the deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, can be felt right here. One El Paso woman had to rescue her family from the ravaged area, because they had no other place to go.
They've all been out of Joplin for a few days, but it seems that Joplin, won't leave them.
“I'm still scared. I still feel like they're coming,” said Cynthia Nolan.
Nolan said she's still in disbelief over what's happened. She said she's been living in El Paso for about 30 years; she was here, when she found out that a tornado had hit Joplin, where her family still lived.
"They just called me and said the house is disappearing around them...the phone went dead, so I shot out to go get them,” said Nolan.
When she got there, she saw that her mother's home, that once looked like a modest, one-story home, had been reduced to rubble.
“You can't even recognize anything out there anymore - it's all gone,” said Nolan.
Lucky for Nolan, her mother, Janet Kerns, and two nephews, survived the tornado.
Kerns said that on top of destroying all of the family's belongings, the tornado also left physical scars. She has scabs all over her arms-- she said she got injured, as the ceiling came tumbling down, when she and her grand-kids hid in a closet.
"Everything was just right there on top...just crushed right in,” said Kerns.
Kerns' grandchildren, Tyler Shikowski, 12, Peyton Johnson, 7, are still reeling from what happened.
"It was a horrible experience. I wouldn't like for anyone to go through it. I almost lost my little brother and we could have all died,” said Shikowski.
“It wasn't very good...because all of our stuff is gone,” said Johnson.
For now, Nolan said that all she and her family can do, is try to piece together, what the tornado took away. She said she's already received a donation from American Legion Post 58, but hopes her family can get the help they need.
"My mother is diabetic and she's disabled. She lost everything. I can use a hospital bed, I don't have the proper bed for her here...the kids could use some clothes, they have nothing left," said Nolan.
The family told us that El Paso will be their home now.
If you'd like to help the family, you can reach Cynthia Nolan directly at: (915) 329-0264.