Sister of Moore, OK resident shares tragic story - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Sister of Moore, OK resident shares tragic story

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- A Jonesboro resident shares the story of her sister who lives in Moore, Oklahoma and was impacted by the tornado Monday.

But the storm was not the only tragedy the Oklahoma family went through that day. Lois Howard- Lanham also lost her husband to cancer early Monday morning.

Jonesboro resident, Donna Gandy said she has been praying every since she got word of the tornado hitting Moore, Oklahoma.

"Lois has always told me do the best you can, you do your best and God will do the rest," Gandy said.

Donna Gandy's older sister Lois Howard Lanham has lived in Moore since 1975. And like a lot of the community, she lost her home and her possessions that day but she also suffered a greater loss earlier that morning.

"Earlier that morning at 9:19 am her husband Frank Lanham passed away," Gandy said. 

Frank died Monday after a long battle with cancer and then a few hours later the tornado hit. Lois and her family took cover in a storm shelter in Oklahoma City.

"Her car was totaled like the other cars there, windows were blown out of the house, there was a horse laying dead that had come from nowhere," Gandy said.

"She wants everyone to know that it is total devastation down there and that all the families everyone involved needs prayers."

Lanham's granddaughter attended Plaza Towers Elementary School, one of five schools destroyed by the tornado.

"She is a morning student, if she had been an afternoon student she would have been in that school," Gandy said. 

For the first time yesterday, Donna heard her sister's voice.

"I was actually in a store and it was all I could do to not start shouting in the middle of the store," she said.

The tornado's winds topped 200 miles per hour destroying a path 17-miles long in only 40 minutes. Lanham does not have any information about the condition of her home.

"I said Lois how can you go through this losing a husband that morning and then that afternoon being hit by a tornado and being homeless,  and she said Donna you just have to do what you have to do," Gandy said.

Gandy said her sister is one of the strongest people she knows.

"She is holding up fantastic she is doing a lot better than I think any of us would do," she said. 

Gandy says she has a message for her sister.

"That we wish we could be there with her and we love her very much, and we just can't imagine."

Donna said her sister is trying to get enough money to bury her husband and provide for her family. 

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