The Moore American

Local News

May 23, 2013

Moore and Joplin share common bond in the aftermath

MOORE —  Zach Woodcock knew the storms were going to be bad on May 22, 2011, so turning on the Weather Channel was a natural instinct.

What he saw filled him with fear. The Moore resident’s family lived in Joplin, Mo.

“I saw that guy standing there in front of St. John’s and I just dropped everything and headed to Joplin,” he said. “I couldn’t get ahold of my family. I was just praying.”

His uncle, Jim Houk, and his grandmother, Shirley King, survived, but both lost their homes. Other extended family members also were OK.

Woodcock, who owns a construction company in Moore, spent the next three months helping with relief and recovery efforts in Joplin, where his parents, Larry and LaDonna Woodcock, grew up.

Woodcock prayed again on Monday, he said, but this time the tragedy was closer to home. It was as he pulled children from the Plaza Towers Elementary School after an EF-5 tornado ground across the city.

“My stepson, Dalton, went to Plaza Towers, and we have a lot of friends who live around there. It was the first place I stopped to see if they needed help,” he said.

They did.

“It was complete destruction. Little kids —” Woodcock choked back tears, pausing to collect himself. “They were looking for their mothers and fathers. People were screaming, ‘There’s kids trapped. There’s kids trapped.’ The kids were screaming, ‘Help me, help me’. So we dug.”

“I was praising God for the ones that made it and praying to God for the ones that didn’t to help them,” he said.

By Wednesday, he had moved into recovery and relief mode at a home he owns on SW 6th Street, a home in which he and his wife — Grove, Okla. native Denisha Fisher — got married. They raised their twin daughters, Kenzie and Kortnie, 7, and her son, Dalton Duffield, 15, there.

Text Only
Local News
  • Heathplex Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS opens lecture series

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental

    July 23, 2014

  • ‘Magic Kids’ get royal treatment

    A Moore elementary student is among three metro children honored by Oklahoma City radio station, KMGL-FM, as “Magic Kids” for their outstanding contributions to their families, schools and local communities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Toothpick holders’ convention coming

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collectio

    July 23, 2014

  • Gang member charged in shooting

    An Oklahoma City man police identified as a gang member was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon Thursday after sh

    July 23, 2014

  • Angels protect us

    A co-worker unpacked a box of copy machine paper from a cardboard box and got a nasty paper cut. Because the source was cardboard, it was deeper than most and the bleeding was difficult to stop.

    July 23, 2014

  • Southmoore student wins gold at National FCCLA

    More than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country recen

    July 23, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community back together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new.

    July 22, 2014

  • Panel explains forced labor system

    Many topics were discussed over the course of three days during the 2014 Oklahoma Judicial Conference, but one of the newest issues

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore shut out of prevention aid

    As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter. Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide