A Door County native living in Moore, Oklahoma is safe following Monday's deadly tornado.
Emma Schartner, a Sevastopol High School graduate, tells DoorCountyDailyNews.com her house escaped major damage. But that wasn't the case for much of her neighborhood.
Schartner lives about a mile away from Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was flattened by the mammoth twister.
Schartner's a teacher at Douglass School in Oklahoma City and says she was at school when they received word around 2:30 p.m. that they needed to evacuate.
Schartner says she drove to a friend's house in nearby Edmond to track the storm on television, radio, and online.
"We had everything going," she says.
After the storm passed, Emma says she managed to make it to her house to check on things, then drove to Norman to stay with a friend. And it took a while to get there.
"Norman is about a 20 minute drive for me typically, but because there was so much traffic and so much going on it took me 4 ½ hours," she says. "Everyone was trying to get out of the way for the different rescue cars and vehicles."
Schartner says the destruction is devastating but it was heartening to see everyone coming together to help each other.
"They live by what they call the 'Oklahoma Standard,' where if devastation happens in one city people will drive in from all parts of the state to help out and work on this relief effort," she says. "So although it's devastating, in a sense it's also really neat to see the community and seeing people come together and working toward a common cause."
On Tuesday the National Weather Service upgraded the twister from an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale to a top-of-the-scale EF-5 with winds of at least 200 mph. The weather service says the tornado's path was 17 miles long and 1.3 miles wide.
Photo by Xavier Tucker