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Former locals react, assist tornado relief in Oklahoma

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Pictured left to right: Caleb McGee, Alli Christian , Bill Freudenberg brought a grill and warm food to a school in Moore, Oklahoma. Pictured left to right: Caleb McGee, Alli Christian , Bill Freudenberg brought a grill and warm food to a school in Moore, Oklahoma.

MOORE, Oklahoma - In the midst of disaster after a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma Monday afternoon, many are working to bring food and fresh water to families and schools in need.

Bill Freudenberg, formerly of Mahoning County, is currently living in Norman, OK and is sending supplies by vehicle with his friends.

He was caught in traffic for over an hour and said many friends in Moore helped load a Chevy Suburban with water, power bars and 50 pounds of hot dogs.

"We just wanted to see what we could do to help. We were like the first people there. Then, we went back to Norman and reloaded on supplies and drove around to see what else we could do," he said.

Freudenberg said the school was being used as a shelter and when they arrived, people had congregated.

Freudenberg has been living in Norman for about seven years and will return to Youngstown on Sunday.

"We hope to grill out to have some warm food for these people," he said.

Another resident, Donna Henson, 49, is originally from Struthers but moved to Oklahoma in 1980, when she was married. Her husband was transferred to Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma City.

She said her family is all doing well and safe but the damage is shocking.

"It's just very overwhelming at this point now that morning hit," Henson said. "We want to help but you don't know where to go. There are so many first responders. We just walked around the street in shock."

Henson and many others are still unable to reach family members because of the poor cellular reception after the tornado.

"You're sitting there and the first thought is all of the kids in the schools. We have countless elementaries, four or five middle schools and high schools, " Henson said. "My four grandkids are ages two to 11 and we're thankful they're safe, but there are so many children that didn't make it out alive."

Henson said her son William was driving away from what he thought was just a dust storm yesterday. Henson said her son said he could feel the tornado pulling him backward.

"We're just floored. Even though we don't know everybody, we feel like we know everybody," she said. "We don't know if anyone is safe. It's that panic mode that you've lost total control."

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