Marc and Lynn (Jones) Hughes of Carney, Okla. were away from their home Sunday evening when a tornado roared through the Oklahoma town of 650 and destroyed or damaged 30 houses. The Hughes home was heavily damaged, according to Lynn’s mother, Marilyn Jones.
“On Sunday night when she called home, Lynn thought the house appeared to have been leveled, but it was raining so hard she really couldn’t tell,” Jones said.
Jones said that, by the time she took a subsequent phone call from Lynn on Monday evening, her daughter reported that while the house was heavily damaged, it was not totally destroyed as previously thought.
“She said that the bathroom they always thought they would use if they needed to take shelter was still standing, as was a smaller half-bath that miraculously still held prescription medications they needed,” Jones said. “And after searching the house and the area most of Monday, Lynn said they had found and were able to save a surprising amount of their belongings.
“She told me they found most of her clothes from a closet, but a chest of drawers and everything in it was missing and Marc’s clothes that had been in a closet were gone as well,” Jones said. “They also were able to get a friend to come with some heavy equipment and lift the garage walls off the rest of the house and pull away the front porch roof which was in danger of collapsing so they had the place stable enough to continue looking for what could be salvaged.”
Oklahoma State University contacted the Hughes couple and offered them a campus apartment since both are employed at the University. Jones said Marc and Lynn were grateful for the offer. “At least they will have someplace to live while they decide what the next step will be,” Jones said.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin toured Carney Monday morning and declared the community and all of Lincoln County, in which Carney is located, a disaster area. The Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency teams also were on hand to work with city officials, emergency crews, and those homeowners needing help. No deaths were reported from the Carney community and only six people were taken to the hospital, none with life-threatening injuries, according to news reports.
“Lynn has always been our family historian,” said Jones. “She is the one who has all the family pictures and the letters from all the Grandmas. I haven’t asked if they have been able to find any of those things. It would be nice if they could, but as she said to me last night, ‘Mom, it is only stuff.’ We are grateful that they are both alright.”
Marc and Lynn both attended and graduated both Peabody schools. Marc graduated in 1976 and Lynn in 1978.