Moore, OK native living in Valdosta says family is safe - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Moore, OK native living in Valdosta says family is safe

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

A Valdosta man born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma says his family and friends there are all okay. He grew up just two miles from the hardest hit area of town.

Todd McCawley spent the first 17 years of his life in Moore Oklahoma. He says even for a town used to being on alert for tornadoes, yesterday's devastation was shocking.

"They knew they were going to have some storms, but they didn't wake up that morning thinking something like this is going to happen," said McCawley.

McCawley's aunts, uncles, cousins, and childhood friends, still live in Moore and they all survived. Many of them were able to take cover in their tornado shelters, but some of his friends lost everything. "There's going to be rebuilding. I think everybody's just in a sense of shock right now. Everybody wants to help but nobody knows what they can do."

McCawley says its painful to see pictures of his hometown that is now unrecognizable. "It's surreal to know that that was there yesterday and now it's gone today. It really hit close to home not only having family there, but I have a 3rd grader and to know that the school with the 3rd graders, that hall was wiped out, to think that when you leave your child at school you expect to pick them up and everything be normal and we have a lot to be thankful for."

But he's confidant his hometown will recover. "It's good people, hardworking people, people that you would find like here in south Georgia."

McCawley says because of his upbringing and watching the American Red Cross help families in disasters like this, he's about to become the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Red Cross right here in south Georgia.

"I hope that we remember this six months from now, Joplin's still rebuilding after two years, Tuscaloosa is still rebuilding, so I mean these communities, it takes a long time to heal."

McCawley says he's ready to deploy with the Red Cross if they're called in for assistance.

If you would like to donate to the relief efforts in Moore, CLICK HERE.

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