“I never thought this would happen twice,” said Angel Bertie.
Angel is no stranger to tornadoes. She recently moved to Baxter Springs, Kansas to be near to her aunt Peggy and vividly remembers the EF4 tornado that struck six years ago in her small town of Picher, Oklahoma. The devastating tornado took the life of her mother and severely injured her grandmother. Angel was lucky to survive, as she was 5 months pregnant with two small children, and needed help.
She recalls that the Red Cross was there right away, helping with hot meals, water, and the first steps to recovery.
Then again, on April 27, an EF2 tornado tore through her neighborhood in Baxter Springs. Luckily, Angel and her boyfriend were able to take shelter in a cooler within the local grocery store. Unfortunately, her aunt was at home and in the direct path of the tornado. Directly across the street, the local bowling alley and skating rink were destroyed that evening.
Angel remembers rushing from the store and begging for help to locate her aunt beneath the rubble. All she could remember was the intense feeling of devastation she felt in 2008, but this time with a different result. With tears of joy and unexplainable happiness, Aunt Peggy and her three dogs were found safe in the door frame of their 1920’s home.
Though the family is in the very early steps of recovering, Angel and Peggy are grateful and appreciative for the assistance of the Red Cross and the community, for a second time.
“The Red Cross has been amazing!” said Angel. “Andrea (a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Worker) has been by my side helping me every step of the way.”
The Red Cross continues to provide assistance to the people of Baxter Springs and surrounding areas affected by recent tornadoes.