http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgDonnie Bird, a Cherokee Nation citizen and Greasy Community Building board member, picks up debris the morning of March 7, the day after an EF1 tornado touched down in the Greasy area destroying structures on the Greasy Community Building property. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Donnie Bird, a Cherokee Nation citizen and Greasy Community Building board member, picks up debris the morning of March 7, the day after an EF1 tornado touched down in the Greasy area destroying structures on the Greasy Community Building property. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Tornado causes damage in Greasy community

A building on the site of the Greasy Community Building property lays destroyed after an EF1 tornado touched down on March 6. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Hannah Roberts, left, who was in the area for Grand Valley State University’s alternative break, helps carry a rooftop while cleaning up debris after an EF1 tornado hit the Greasy Community Building area March 6. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A building on the site of the Greasy Community Building property lays destroyed after an EF1 tornado touched down on March 6. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
03/07/2017 04:15 PM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
GREASY, Okla. – Residents, Cherokee Nation officials and others gathered at the Greasy Community Building on March 7 to clean and pick up debris after an EF1 tornado struck the area the night before, destroying a building and damaging other property.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado touched down at approximately 9:45 p.m.

“We just got the new building (at the community building site) finished and refurnished, but that got hit. It didn’t do too much damage to the big building, but it tore up other buildings like the concession stand, the ball field and our overhead. They perform a lot of weddings underneath there. That got hit,” Donnie Bird, CN citizen and Greasy Community board member, said.

Bird said cleanup and surveying was ongoing at the community building property.

“We estimated it (tornado) was just a touchdown for a few minutes then it was gone, I guess, because there ain’t nothing else that’s been damaged, not the nearest homes except for trees and stuff,” he said.

Bird said the structure destroyed at the community building site wasn’t in use yet, but he and other board members were tying to determine what they would use it for.

“We weren’t really in the process of using it yet. We just got it fixed here before winter so we was discussing how to use it,” he said. “We could have used it for like indoor yard sales, kids activities and stuff like that. That was our plan anyway.”

Hannah Roberts, who was in the community from Grand Valley State University for an alternative spring break, said she and others from her university in Michigan helped with the cleanup.

“We’re helping with the Cherokee Nation, and we’re volunteering with them for our spring break this week. We had kind of just gotten put on the spot to help with this tornado that touched down. So we’re just out here helping out, picking up some trash, debris and things like that,” she said.

Roberts said seeing everyone come together to help “says a lot.”

“It says a lot about this community that everyone works together when something happens, and it doesn’t matter whether it was you or maybe a friend that it affected,” she said.

Jeremie Fisher, CN emergency manager, said he and his team, as well as others, were working to capture data, damages and other aspects of what happened.

“We’re out here and we’re capturing data. We’re trying to capture man-hours. We’re trying to capture the damage assessment so that we can provide a good number for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency),” he said. “We plan on trying to seek reimbursement for the damaged structures and all of the things that have gone on here. So we’re going to try and go directly to FEMA because we think we’ve meet the individual threshold for the tribal nations.”

Fisher said the CN departments of Facilities and Natural Resources were also involved in the cleanup. “We’re working hard together, and it’s a really cool thing to see the resiliency of the Cherokee people.”

Bird said it’s “heartwarming” seeing people coming together to help with the cleanup.

“It’s heartwarming to see when a community comes together when something like this happens, and we got a pretty good community,” he said. “It’s just something you have to appreciate how the community and Cherokee Nation stepped up and came out quickly. We can rebuild and just keep moving.”
About the Author
Stacie Guthrie started working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2013 as an intern. After graduating from Northeastern State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications she was hired as a reporter.

Stacie not only writes for the Phoenix, but also produces videos and regularly hosts the Cherokee Phoenix radio broadcast.

She found her passion for video production while taking part in broadcast media classes at NSU. It was there she co-created a monthly video segment titled “Northeastern Gaming,” which included video game reviews, video game console reviews and discussions regarding influential video games.

While working at the Phoenix she has learned more about her Cherokee culture, saying she is grateful for the opportunity to work for and with the Cherokee people.

In 2014, Stacie won a NativeAmerican Journalists Association award for a video she created while working as an intern for the Phoenix. She was awarded first place in the “Best News Story-TV” category.

Stacie is a member of NAJA.
stacie-guthrie@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000 ext. 5903
Stacie Guthrie started working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2013 as an intern. After graduating from Northeastern State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications she was hired as a reporter. Stacie not only writes for the Phoenix, but also produces videos and regularly hosts the Cherokee Phoenix radio broadcast. She found her passion for video production while taking part in broadcast media classes at NSU. It was there she co-created a monthly video segment titled “Northeastern Gaming,” which included video game reviews, video game console reviews and discussions regarding influential video games. While working at the Phoenix she has learned more about her Cherokee culture, saying she is grateful for the opportunity to work for and with the Cherokee people. In 2014, Stacie won a NativeAmerican Journalists Association award for a video she created while working as an intern for the Phoenix. She was awarded first place in the “Best News Story-TV” category. Stacie is a member of NAJA.

News

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BY STAFF REPORTS
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BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
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BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
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