Keene Swamp Bats coach: Okla. tornado was close to home
A man and two children exit a shelter after debris was cleared from on top, after a huge tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City, Monday. A massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday, killing at least 51 people as winds of up to 200 mph flattened entire tracts of homes, two schools and a hospital, leaving a wake of tangled wreckage. (REUTERS/Richard Rowe)
"Had it turned in our direction, I was to get our kids into the (school's) main building."
Winterrowd, 39, who will arrive in Keene on June 1, knows Moore well.
He coached West Moore High School's baseball team from 2004 to 2010 and taught students history there.
After that 1999 tornado, the town "reinforced (school) hallways to withstand a tornado," he said.
"Everyone's who's been part of the Moore community and the Moore public schools remembers back to the (pre-fortified schools) and are crushed this could happen, especially to kids that age," he said, referring to fatalities at the Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Winterrowd, who now coaches at Mustang High School and was an assistant coach with the Swamp Bats in 2001, heard from two friends whose sons rode out the tornado in Briarwood Elementary School.
Tornadoes aren't foreign to Winterrowd.
"I've been near them; I don't stand out watching them," he said. "I've been within earshot and heard them, but certainly not in the path of one."
"His home is totaled," said Winterrwood, adding that his coach's belongings probably were "scattered from here til probably Tulsa," a 115-mile span.
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