Local tribal member suffers loss from tornadoes

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Samuel Pena, a member of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, survived an F5 tornado that ripped through the heart of Oklahoma. As the tornado spent over 15 minutes on the ground in Moore, Okla., it tore through several homes and businesses and caused more than $1 billion in damage.
Pena and his son took cover at the Briarwood Elementary School.
Pena, though, recalled the harrowing moments as the ultimate moment of survival as he along with his son, Benji, and seven other school boys huddled in the boys bathroom on the southwest side of the school.
There, the last wall remained standing and according to Benji, Samuel lifted and threw large pieces of wall debris off of the young school boys. While they survived the tornado, Pena’s property suffered extensive damage.
Pena wrote to Terry Aguilar, Governor for the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, seeking assistance from the Pueblo. Pena stated that while his home remains standing, there is extensive water damage to the walls as well roof damage.
His home, located on SW 79th Terrace Street, is now made up of temporary walls of board and tarp, while similar materials serve as a roof over their heads.
Even worse, Pena noted to the Governor that he is a refrigerator mechanic and his truck served as his office for his trade and the tornado threw his truck over 200 yards causing extensive damage to the vehicle as well losing about $6,000 worth of tools and a laptop full of work orders and prepared bids. In fact, all of his vehicles suffered damage that will take thousands of dollars to repair.
Pena believes he has suffered roughly $100,000 in damages. In response to this loss, Governor Aguilar asked his community to “consider providing assistance, financial or otherwise, to help Mr. Pena repair his home and rebuild his business.”
The Pueblo de San Ildefonso will take donations on behalf of Mr. Pena until June 12. All donations will be hand-delivered to him the following day.
If anyone would like to assist the Pueblo in collecting any monetary or non-perishable food items, contact Ms. Myra Garcia at the Governor’s Office at 505-455-4101 or if you would like to make a direct contribution to Pena please do so by sending it to 1512 SW 79th Terrace, Oklahoma City, OK, 73159.