Tornado Hits Joe Don’s Hometown

A massive tornado hit Picher, Okla., the hometown of Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney, Saturday night, May 10, killing at least six people.

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The tornado could be the ultimate incentive for some 800 residents to leave the small town in northeast Oklahoma. The lead and zinc mines that made Picher a thriving town closed many years ago and the leftover waste has turned the area into an environmental disaster. Now, the city must deal with the debris from the recent tornadoes. “I think people have probably had enough,” John Sparkman, head of the local housing authority, told The Associated Press. “There’s just nothing to build back to anymore.” Joe Don talked about his hometown in the April 24, 2006, issue of Country Weekly. In the story, Joe Don noted that his parents were still living in Picher and residing in the same house he grew up in as a child.

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