DENVER -- Coloradans with connections to the Sooner State watch with heavy hearts as Oklahoma recovers from one of the most destructive tornadoes in history.
"I went to Oklahoma. I'm from Oklahoma," says Will Trautman, owner of Stoney's Bar & Grill in Denver's Capitol Hill.
He has a big heart for the people of Oklahoma.
"They've supported us since day one. Our first customers were University of Oklahoma fans who came in here 500 people strong," he says.
Now, as the official OU bar in Colorado, Trautman's heart breaks over yet another blow dealt to his home state.
"I was there in '99 when there was a tornado, right before I moved to Colorado. I was there for the Oklahoma City bombing. These kinds of heartaches have happened in Oklahoma before," he says.
He's now planning a fundraiser and silent auction at his bar for victims on June 15.
"So I lived through it the first time," says OU alumnus Daniel Dayton, who now lives in Parker. He also survived the massive '99 tornado in the same area, which killed even more people.
"There were days you cried over the loss. This is my home and it's not. It's rubble," he says.
"We saw how big it was. We knew something bad was going to happen," says Dina Reott of Golden, who witnessed the '99 tornado.
She knows the horror firsthand of waiting for that possibility everything gets wiped out in an instant.
"There's no way to describe when you hear those sirens going off, because you know what's coming, you know you can't stop it," says Reott.
It's one reason she moved from Oklahoma to Colorado. "You have two seasons: hot and tornado. That's it," she says.
And now her worries are not for herself--but her relatives.
A text from her cousin says: "all okay. no damage. got close but missed us."
And a Facebook picture shows damage in her family's neighborhood of a toppled windmill.
"I am thankful that living here my family won't have to go through it. It just comes down to that. I don't ever see me moving back to Oklahoma," she says.
The OU Club of Colorado is accepting donations for tornado victims through its Facebook page.
Want to check on a loved one in the Oklahoma City area? Click here to do so at the Red Cross' Safe and Well page.AlertMe