theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

State News

November 21, 2013

Group works to return photos to tornado victims

Oklahoma City — One photo shows a red-cheeked tot sitting in a high chair, smiling at the camera. Another one, a Polaroid, shows two people unwrapping gifts at Christmas, a tree decorated with lights behind them and wrapping paper covering the floor. 

They are among countless photos found after a series of tornadoes swept through central Oklahoma six months ago, including the EF5 twister that struck Moore on May 20, devastating parts of the town and killing 24 people. Some of the photos were recovered more than 100 miles away, picked up by the forceful winds and deposited on farms, streets and in front of strangers’ homes. 

Now, Kristi Brummal and a team of about 50 volunteers are trying to clean, restore and reunite the photos with their owners as part of the Oklahoma Photo Rescue project. The photos show everyday moments as well as momentous occasions such as holidays and births. Some date back to the early 1900s.

The project hasn’t counted how many pictures have been recovered since the storms, Brummal said, but earlier this month, seven families reclaimed 104 photos at an event held in Moore. The group is still cleaning and documenting the photos. The next event will be in the spring. 

“This could be the only picture that somebody has. It’s just vitally important that people understand your entire life was destroyed in a matter of moments, and to even be able to get one photo back of your dad or your daughter, it’s immeasurably meaningful,” said Brummal, school manager at the Oklahoma School of Photography. 

The group, made up of photography professionals and enthusiasts, initially started out as a way to offer photo restoration services to the tornado victims, but it quickly became a rescue and recovery group, too, Brummal said. 

“Having been through tornadoes before ... it’s very frustrating because all of your belongings are scattered to the seven winds, and most of the time so is your documentation. And you’re without transportation, without housing, and then you’re asked to go seven places to get your driver license, your birth certificate,” said Brummal. The Oklahoma School of Photography was hit by the May 1999 tornado in Moore, and Brummal lived just a block from where homes were devastated.  

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Around the State

    April 18, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Eight-month no tornado streak ends

    Oklahoma's eight-month streak without a tornado — the second-longest period since record-keeping began in 1950 — was snapped this weekend by a pair of suspected twister touchdowns, but the state's wild weather continued into Monday, blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and prompting overnight freeze warnings.

    April 17, 2014

  • Storm scavengers could face felony charges

    It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern - fending off looters.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large - a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

     

    April 17, 2014

  • Gov. Mary Fallin State-mandated minimum wage draws ire across Oklahoma

    Those seeking a higher minimum wage in Oklahoma said they’re upset with Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to sign a bill that prohibits cities from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements.

     

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Line 'em up Candidates face first election hurdle: Nabbing a good spot in line

    Max Wolfley spent Tuesday night napping in a hard metal folding chair in a hallway at the state Capitol with his 12-year-old son by his side.

     

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Around the State

    April 8, 2014

    April 8, 2014

  • University, high school percussion ensembles to perform at SWOSU

    Southwestern Oklahoma State University will host the Oklahoma Percussion Festival this Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, on the Weatherford campus.

    April 2, 2014

  • State DAR leader to speak at Edmond

    Pat McFall, state regent of Oklahoma Daughters of the American Revolution, will present a program at the Monday, April 21, meeting of the Edmond Genealogical Society at the Edmond Museum. Her program will cover researching the DAR.org website online and preparing applications for membership. 

     

    April 2, 2014

  • Around the State

    April 2, 2014

    April 2, 2014

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks
Poll

For years, Oklahoma was a mostly Democratic state. In recent years, there has been a swing to Republican affiliation. Have you changed your political affiliation to Republican?

Yes
No
     View Results