Monday’s deadly tornado hit home for Gina Fanning of Summerville, who was concerned about her friends, Justin and Shanna Aranda of Moore, Okla.
“We were very worried about them, especially with her being six months pregnant,” Fanning said.
Then came a text from Justin.
“He wrote they’re OK. They don’t know about the house. The family is safe and sound,” Fanning said.
Dozens were killed by the storm. The Arandas lived about a mile from the Plaza Towers Elementary School, where the twister tore off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal. The tornado laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, south of Oklahoma City. Block after block of the community lay in ruins, with heaps of debris piled up where homes used to be, the AP reported. The Arandas moved from Summerville to Moore two years ago.
Both worked at Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville, where she was a nurse and he was a guard, Fanning said.
“They were here all the time,” she said. “We played poker together.”
Fanning said she had learned Shanna Aranda was in a shelter with her three kids from a previous marriage.
Shanna Aranda is from Oklahoma, Fanning said.
Justin was at work when the tornado hit, she said.
Other area residents responded with a huge sigh of relief to learn that their loved ones were safe.
“I have tons of family in Moore, OK and they are all ok. Thank God!” said Kristin Harbison Blunt of Seabrook Island. She wrote her comment on The Post and Courier’s Facebook page.