Local News

Duke soccer player rides out storm in Oklahoma

Posted May 23, 2013

— Ana Hunt, a rising junior pre-Med student at Duke University is home for the summer, in Moore, Okla. with her family. That's where she spent seven terrifying minutes inside a safe room Monday afternoon as an EF-5 tornado swept through her hometown, killing 24 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Hunt was at home with her mother, Dorene, when the storm hit.

Duke student saved by 'safe room' Duke student saved by 'safe room'

"She was crying and saying, 'I don't want to die,' and I was telling her everything would be OK," Dorene Hunt said. 

"The pressure was indescribable. It feels like a weight sitting on your chest," Ana Hunt said. "You could hear the roof being lifted off."

Early estimates indicate the tornado caused more than $2 billion of damage. Whole subdivisions in the fast-growing community of 56,000 people were destroyed. Authorities estimated that as many as 12,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and 33,000 people were affected.

Four tornadoes have hit the town since 1998, including one in 1999 that everyone just calls the "May 3 tornado," which had 300 mph winds and killed more than 40 people.

 City officials say the 1999 tornado led more people to install storm shelters in their homes like the one that Hunt shares with her parents.

Hunt's father, Alvin said they are determined to rebuild because they love their life in Oklahoma.

"Everywhere you live there's disasters," he said.

Alvin Hunt credited the concrete safe room with saving the lives of his wife and daughter. He said he would not live in Tornado Alley without one. 

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