Cimarron Tower evacuated

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By Jim Perry

Managing Editor
He got something of a perverse chuckle from the happening.
“It’s the first Red Cross shelter for an earthquake in Oklahoma,” Carter said. “We are making history.”
A moment later, Wes Carter, regional communications manager for the Red Cross, was more melancholy.
“Today we will go into the community and assess the damage,” Carter said Monday morning. “Right now, we cannot do much.”
The Red Cross turned the Cushing Youth and Community Center, 700 S. Little Ave., into a shelter for people displaced by Sunday night’s 5.0-magnitude earthquake that hit a few miles northwest of Cushing.
Among the hardest hit areas was downtown Cushing. Among the downtown’s hardest hit areas was the Cimarron Tower.
The tower on Broadway Street was evacuated and 14 residents slept on cots on the floor of the gymnasium. By midmorning Monday, that number was down to eight, according to Cushing Police Chief Tully Folden.
Pizza Hut and Mazzio’s provided pizzas for those who were transported to the temporary shelter.
Brenda Allen was among those moved from the Cimarron Tower to the CYCC, which also suffered nal damage.
She had been in the tower only five or six weeks before Sunday night’s catastrophe.
“I used to live in Los Angeles so I know a little about earthquakes,” Allen said. “But I just moved here from Stroud and was not ready for this.”
She further explained “this.”
“I was just out of the building into the parking lot on the north side. It shook 40 or 50 times and I panicked. I started running toward the newspaper office.
The Cushing Citizen, a block away on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Moses Street, was in her viewpoint.
“I saw the facade fall off the side of the newspaper office and heard a big boom, like an explosion.
“That’s when I knew it was an earthquake.”
Publishers David and Myra Reid live upstairs above the Citizen offices. Hundreds of bricks and the concrete facade outside their back door crumbled into Moses Street.
Allen said she did not know how much damage was done to her apartment inside Cimarron Tower.
“I’m on the third floor and went back to get my coat and a few other things. I saw no damage.”
What she did see, Allen said, frightened her.
“The elevator fell to the bottom,” she said. “There was a lot of smoke or dust or something.”
Red Cross officials turned the CYCC into a 24-hour-a-day place. They were on hand Monday morning and had plans to canvass the community.