Survivors remember Lone Grove tornado on 5 year anniversary

LONE GROVE, OK -- Five years ago Monday, eight people were killed when a tornado struck the town of Lone Grove. The twister touched down the night of February 10th 2009. It was the deadliest tornado to hit Oklahoma in nearly 10 years and the deadliest in the month of February since the 1950s. Those who survived say it is a night they will never forget.

Packing 175 mile per hour winds the EF4 tornado that ripped trough Lone Grove claimed the lives of eight people and leveled several homes. Elva Luise Taliaferro's was one of them. She remembers February 10, 2009 like it was yesterday.

"There was a closet on each side of that hall and me and my husband got in one side and my granddaughter and her husband got in the one on this side," Taliaferro said. "The tail end, it sucked the door open to the closet me and Debeea were in and it pulled him out on the floor."

Taliaferro says after the twister had passed she realized all that was left of their home were the closets they took shelter in.

KXII's Chief Meteorologist Steve LaNore says he remembers that night all too well.

"I almost started crying on the air. I mean it was that bad. You could see the signature on Doppler 12. It was a huge hook," LaNore said.

Steve says many people trapped in the storm did not heed the warnings.

"The lesson I'd like to leave from Lone Grove is heed tornado warnings even if the tornado has not been confirmed for some time. In this case it had been 40 minutes since they had seen it in Texas before they saw it again in Lone Grove " LaNore said.

Taliferro says they rebuilt their home on the same foundation that the Lone Grove tornado wiped clean, and as she sits in her home today she remembers those who lost their lives and thanks God for sparing theirs.

"The Lord took care of us and he took care of me," Taliaferro said.

LaNore says the EF4 was on the ground for more than 60 miles. It was four and a half miles long and a half mile wide. At least 14 people were injured in the tornado.


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