Tornado hits close to home

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Police > LAPD officer’s mom lives near Moore, Okla.

By John Severance

The Oklahoma tornadoes earlier this week hit way too close to home for Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Patrick Massara.
Massara’s mother, Candace Jenkins, lives just a mile and a half from Moore, Okla., which was devastated by the powerful twister that killed 24 people and leveled an elementary school and hundreds of homes.
“Mom is OK,” Massara said. “She got lucky. She is retired from the Air Force base that is located near Moore. She never left the house all day. But the following day, she went to check on friends and she said it was absolute devastation.”
The tornado missed Jenkins’ house and Massara was asked if his mother heard anything.
“She just heard the warning sirens,” Massara said.
Massara said his mother grew up in Los Alamos.
“She was raised here and she was a Hilltopper,” Massara said.
Massara, meanwhile, was working the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift Monday and did not know what was going on until the late afternoon.
During a break, Massara watched the news coverage.
“A member of the family got a hold of her around 4 p.m., Massara said. “I ended up talking to her later.”
Massara, meanwhile, is coordinating an event to benefit the Oklahoma tornado victims. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the parking lot located on the corner of 20th Street and Trinity Drive near Ashley Pond, the LAPD and the Los Alamos Fire Department will hold a fundraiser.
“LAFD will have a couple of trucks there and LAPD will have a couple of units. I am trying to get the bomb squad truck and also trying to line up some music,” Massara said.
There are some other area entities that are also hosting fundraisers for Oklahoma tornado victims.
Chamisa Elementary School held a book fair Wednesday. And Charger Aquatics set up a donation table in front of Smith’s Thursday.
Irene Powell, who heads the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for Los Alamos, reports that volunteer Peggy Hume of Los Alamos drove a Red Cross truck to Moore, Okla., this week.