Ashmore | Sometimes everything falls into place right when you need it to. Kurt Crail was working to get approval to go to Oklahoma with Westfield Association’s Disaster Relief trailer when he got word of a need for a team with three things: a skid steer tractor with a grapple bucket, three guys, and a chaplain.
Which is exactly what he had. “This was one of those God deals,” said Crail, an Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief blue cap from Ashmore Baptist Church. He served on a team of five men who traveled to Oklahoma in mid-June, just a few weeks after an EF5 tornado flattened entire neighborhoods in the town of Moore.
Crail also runs a construction business, so he had access to the specific machinery needed to pick up and move debris. He and three others from Ashmore Baptist – Mike Finney, Terry Davis, and Pastor David Colvin – joined forces with Jim Clifton, a member of a church in nearby Oakland that also sent volunteers to Moore. The team worked in Oklahoma City on their first day, cutting down or removing branches damaged by the intense winds. On their second day, they were called out to Moore.
“…As far as you can see, there was nothing but foundations and just rubble,” Crail said of the scene in some parts of town. He remembers putting himself in the shoes of people who came out of their storm cellars and realized where they’d once had a house, now they didn’t have anything.
“I’m still amazed that only 25 people died from [the storm], from looking at the damage,” said Crail, who’s a trained storm spotter in Ashmore. “…God’s grace is the only way anybody survived that.”