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Neighborhood Hit Twice by Tornadoes

May 7, 1999

MOORE, Okla. (AP) _ Doug and Dee Powers had barely finished repairing their home from the tornado that struck last October when this week arrived.

After another twister roared through the neighborhood, the Powerses fear their house may be a total loss this time.

``It’s like lightning never strikes twice. You never think it will happen, but it did,″ said Mrs. Powers, who grew up in the house.

Harold Brooks, a researcher at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, said the chances of a tornado hitting a given location even just once are small.

``The kind of wind speeds we’re looking at from Monday will probably occur at that location maybe once in a million years,″ he said.

The tornado in October did about $3,000 in damage to the Powers home. This time, the couple were just two houses away from a direct hit. One wall was stripped away and there was other structural damage.

On Thursday, the couple were on the front lawn, along with the belongings they have salvaged, waiting for an insurance adjuster.

``Now we’re back past square one. We’re further back than we were last time,″ Mrs. Powers said.

Kevin Kelleher, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said: ``Is this an area that’s conducive to tornado paths? I don’t think so. It’s just bad luck.″

Rod and Sherry McLaren own five rental houses in Moore, two of which had a combined $5,000 damage in October. They put a new roof and new siding on one, and spruced up another with a new fence.

On Monday, those two houses were leveled and the others suffered damage so heavy they may be total losses, too.

``It makes you want to cry,″ Mrs. McLaren said.

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