Family from Macomb Township survives Oklahoma tornado

Family hid in friend's underground shelter while tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma

Author: Ashlee Baracy, Local 4 Traffic, @AshleeBaracy
Published On: May 21 2013 06:01:43 PM EDT   Updated On: May 21 2013 07:01:42 PM EDT
oklahoma tornado local family survives
MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

A woman who grew up in Macomb Township survived the tornado that destroyed much of Moore, Oklahoma.

Sue Honaker moved to Moore two years ago with her husband and their five children.

Speaking by phone, Honaker said when the tornado approached, she knew her family did not have a shelter.  So they quickly drove to the house of a friend, who had an underground shelter.  Even in that secure setting, Honaker said the experience was frightening.

"It was horrible. People were slipping and sliding. All you could hear was metal crashing and then people screaming," Honaker said.

Back in Sterling Heights, Honaker's father, Larry Reichle, waited and worried.

"You can do nothing as a father. You're too far away," Reichle said.

Larry Reichle had to wait hours until he could be assured his daughter and grandchildren were safe.

Honaker and her family and friends survived but she said her five children have had trouble dealing with the experience.

"They were crying in their sleep all night. They were having nightmares," Honaker said.

The shelter where Honaker and her children rode out the storm was just two blocks away from Tower Plaza Elementary school, where seven children died after the building collapsed around them.

Honaker's friend's house was destroyed, but Sue's home was not damaged by that massive tornado.