Gov. Kevin Stitt tours tornado damage in Madill Thursday afternoon

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 8:33 PM CDT
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Marshall County residents and businesses are cleaning up and assessing the damage after a deadly EF-2 tornado swept through Madill Wednesday afternoon.

Emergency management for the City of Madill said one of two fatalities was an out-of-state truck driver at Oklahoma Steel and Wire who is hit by debris.

The second fatality was a Madill man who worked at J&I Manufacturing west of town and was caught in his car when the tornado hit.

A third person is in critical condition at a hospital in Plano, Texas.

Gov. Kevin Stitt toured the destruction Thursday, including Oklahoma Steel and Wire and J&I Manufacturing, which both received major damage.

"I talked to the owners of Oklahoma Steel and Wire," Stitt said. "A few years back, they ended up putting shelters inside their manufacturing facility and it made all the difference. They had about 90 employees, not much warning and, when you look at the damage, it could have been a lot, lot worse inside the facility, just mangled steel and more people would have been hurt for sure."

Kathleen Moore is a member of the family who owns Oklahoma Steel and Wire. The business employs about 600 people total in Madill, one of the largest employers for Marshall County. Moore said they do not know when they will reopen

"We have a great group of employees," Moore said. "They've been here a long time with us and they're anxious to get back to work. In fact they're pushing us a little bit more than what we want to be pushed right now because we want their safety most importantly. They're anxious. We will rebuild. There's no question about it.

Around 15 homes in the area were impacted by the tornado and seven were left uninhabitable.

The people who lived in those homes have been helped out by the Red Cross.

"It's my understanding that a roofing company showed up earlier and said they were going to do the seven roofs for free to the damages to the homes," Stitt said. "That's just Oklahoma. That's who we are so we're just going to all step in and help out. We'll rebuild and we'll come back stronger."