Grieving Disaster: Moore Counselor Weighs In

An expert said many homeowners in the area, and likely responders, are beginning to grieve the devastation the tornado caused earlier this week.

"It's had a pretty devastating impact on everybody," said Dr. Jennifer Morris, a clinical child psychologist at Moore Counseling Center.

Even her home sustained some exterior damage in the tornado.

She said most affected homeowners are experiencing shock.

"I mean, it just happened so quickly," Dr. Morris said.

She explained many homeowners will likely experience fear, anger, and the sadness of loss. She said after that, comes the process to rebuild. Moore Counseling Center is offering free, walk-in services to anyone struggling with what has happened. Dr. Morris said several days of rainy weather might have deterred people from coming for help immediately.

Rather, she said, many people are focused on saving belongings in the immediate aftermath.She said responders to the disaster also need to be in touch with some of the traumatic experiences they might be experiencing. Therapists are welcoming them too for free help.

Channel 8 spoke with a responder from out of state who said he has had lots of experience handling disasters and focuses, instead, on residents in need.

"I don't really notice the damage so much. I'm looking for the people. That's what it's about," said search and rescuer Jason Belcourt.

Dr. Morris said talking about your emotions can be important even for people far from the damage, like Green Country residents. She said many people want to help.

Also, she said this damage may bring about a renewed fear of severe weather for many, including children.

"They [children] may not, you know, say, 'I'm scared,' but they may say, you know, 'My stomach hurts,' or cling a little closer to Mom and they don't really want to go anywhere," Dr. Morris said.

The Moore Counseling Center is located at 1044 SW 4th Street in Moore. Walk-ins dealing with the storms are welcome. You may call 405-735-6333 for more information.