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Former Oklahoma Gov. starts recovery fund for Shawnee residents plagued by storm damage

By Austin Breasette/KFOR,


SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – Homes were wiped off foundations and businesses were forced to close due to the damage caused by the April 19 th tornado.

It did a number on the eastern Oklahoma town and some residents are still in dire need of help.

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Fortunately, an effort is underway to get that help to them and it’s coming from a familiar face.

Roofers and other contractors were still hard at work in Shawnee on Thursday. Even some debris is still waiting on curbs as people continue to clean up after the storms.

“It’s been kind of an up and down roller coaster,” Shawnee resident Jamie Fekech said.

Among those residents seeking some stability is Fekech. She lives in a rental home in town with her two kids. The roof is still covered with a tarp that she and her children put up after the storm.

“We had trees down, cut those down and just did a lot of the cleanup,” Fekech said.

Fekech said she doesn’t think her landlord has the money to fix her home. In fact, he’s told her she may need to move.

“It leaks from the inside a little bit,” she said. “I’ve got some like broke windows taped up on the other side. It’s really bad.”

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“50 percent of those homes had no insurance, and another 25 percent of those homes were under insured,” former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry said.

With about 2,000 homes and businesses affected, former Governor Brad Henry is now making an appeal to Oklahomans.

“I’m kind of on a mission to help my hometown,” Henry said. “I just couldn’t believe the extent of the damage throughout Shawnee. I mean, it’s truly horrific.”

He’s asking everyone to go to and donate to help those folks who may not be able to help themselves.

“I mean, you know, $5, $1, whatever people can give really, truly makes a difference,” he said.

Then, he’s just hoping the Oklahoma standard takes over from there.

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“We stand up in times of difficulty, in times of crisis or tragedy, and we back up our friends, our fellow Oklahomans,” he said.

The website is in partnership with the United Way of Pottawatomie County. One foundation has agreed to match donations up to $200,000.

Others have also already donated.

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