Thursday, December 18, 2014

Boonville resident has close connection to tornado site

BOONVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Leslie Hoffman, of Boonville, is seeing the destruction in Moore, Oklahoma, through a different lens from most of us.

She walked in the buildings that Monday's tornado reduced to piles of wood. She lived in the neighborhoods that are now levelled and unrecognizable. Hoffman lived in Tornado Alley for six years, from 2005-2011.

"The minute you heard those sirens, your stomach was just in your throat, you're like "what am I doing to do if it hits?"

The father of Hoffman's two sons and other former in-laws still live in Moore. After seeing the level of destruction on her TV screen, she didn't know if they had survived.

"Their houses are still intact, a lot of hail damage, lot of damage from the debris because their house was a mile away from the tornado so a lot of the debris just flew right into their yard," says Hoffman.

Hoffman recognizes the remnants of some of the buildings she's seeing on television. Her younger son was born in one of the hospitals. The school her older son would have been attending survived the storm.

Now, Hoffman must to decide whether to send her sons to Moore next month to spend the summer with their father. She says that, for many, rebuilding will not be easy.

"The insurance is ungodly high and a lot of people out there don't have it."