Tree Traps Poteau Woman In Storm Shelter

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LEFLORE COUNTY (KFSM)-Monday’s (May 25) storms shook up many people, especially one woman who got trapped in her storm cellar. At the same time her house flipped over.

“About 5:40 I noticed that it was really starting to storm and about ten ‘till I noticed a wall cloud so I went into my shelter,” Jennifer Bandy said.

Bandy snapped a picture on her phone right before she closed the storm shelter door at her home on Pleasant Valley Road in Poteau.

“I heard a roar and a lot of things hitting the cellar door and just a lot of commotion, and the air got real tight, and that was it,” she said.

After the storm, she realized she couldn't open the cellar doors, so she texted her family members to let them know she was trapped. They realized that's because a tree fell on it. They said their house then flipped on top of the tree. Thankfully she said it didn't take long for first responders to rescue her.

"I already knew that our house was gone and cars were messed up and so I've seen it before but I'm just glad that we walked away from it," she said.

The damage on Bandy's street is extensive. From fallen power lines to uprooted trees, resident Bruce Kelley said his barn and home are destroyed.

“We were in Wister when it happened,” he said. “We weren't here. A neighbor called us and told us what happened so we came down to check it out.”

Both said the most important thing is that they are safe.

“Can't control the storm,” Kelley said. “Whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen in the storm.”

Kelley and his wife will stay at their home in Wister in the meantime, while Bandy said she will stay with friends.

“Take head when there's warnings and storms coming, keep yourself alert,” Bandy said.

Much of the area is without power. Stay with 5NEWS for the latest on the storm damage.