The teammates of a University of Oklahoma football player rallied around him on Monday after a tornado ripped apart his home.
Sunday night’s tornado damaged several homes and knocked down utility poles along 24th Avenue Southeast in Norman. One of the most severely damaged homes was that of Kori Roberson, a defensive lineman at OU.
The twister tore apart Roberson’s roof, exposing the wooden beams. It also broke his house’s windows, ripped off bricks and insulation, and caused all sorts of other damage.
Roberson said he and his sister, Bellodgia, were home when the tornado hit.
“Her window, as you can see, caved in. And then the whole house just caved in,” said Roberson. “At that time, I’m trying to get my sister to safety and we also have dogs and it just happened so quick.”
The siblings then took shelter in a bathtub as the tornado tossed things around them.
“Sounded like a train,” said Bellodgia Roberson.
“Yeah, imagine a big train came and hit the back of your house,” Kori Roberson added. “Everything came off. Power. Propane came loose. Water was going everywhere. And all through the fans. It was horrible.”
After the tornado left, the siblings and their three dogs were unscathed.
On Monday, several of Roberson’s OU teammates, as well as neighbors, helped him clean up some of the debris in and around his home.
“It means the world to me,” said Roberson. “I know not everybody has as much help as we do in the world.”
After seeing the devastation throughout Norman, the owner of Downtown Fitness on West Lindsey, Mark Floyd, opened the doors of his business to storm victims. He said they were free to charge their phones, use the showers, or work out at his gym to unwind at no cost.
Norman officials said the city had 12 weather-related injuries from the storm. No one was critically hurt and no one was killed. A resource center was opened at 12th Avenue Recreation Center. Services included tetanus shots and first aid, mental health assistance, and a walk-up center for OG&E customers.