Bloomfield’s First Baptist Church members load a trailer with supplies on Tuesday for tornado victims in Oklahoma.
Bloomfield's First Baptist Church members load a trailer with supplies on Tuesday for tornado victims in Oklahoma. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — From his mother's hallway in a suburb east of Oklahoma City, Flora Vista resident Dan Peter directed his brother and nephew away from the twister's path.

Peter works at ConocoPhillips and is from Oklahoma. He was in the Oklahoma City area on Monday to visit his mother, who was recovering from surgery at her home in Midwest City, about 15 miles northeast of Moore.

At least 51 were killed when an EF-5 tornado, the most destructive classification of twister, bore down on Moore, Okla. on Monday afternoon. The death toll rose throughout the day on Tuesday and included at least 20 children. Hundreds of people were injured and many homes were destroyed.

Peter was running errands with his brother, who lives in Moore, when the weather turned. Peter went to be with his mother and his brother picked up his son from school and headed for their home.

Peter stayed glued to an online news site's coverage of the tornado. He saw it was headed to Moore and was able to reach his brother, who turned around and drove north, away from the tornado.

Peter's brother's house was damaged, but it's still standing, Peter said. Many of his neighbors' homes were destroyed.

"I'm very thankful God was watching my family," Peter said. "I'm grateful my family's safe, and I'm grateful I live in New Mexico."

Peter said he stayed inside for much of the day Tuesday at the request of emergency responders, who wanted people to steer clear of destruction zones so they could more efficiently look for survivors. Peter said people who want to help should donate to credible organizations so they know the money goes to victims.

Several Four Corners have connections to the Oklahoma City area and started to collect money and supplies for tornado victims.
Mariah Maley and Pat Lucero unload water at the First Baptist Church in Bloomfield on Tuesday. Members of the First Baptist Church are collecting supplies
Mariah Maley and Pat Lucero unload water at the First Baptist Church in Bloomfield on Tuesday. Members of the First Baptist Church are collecting supplies to help tornado victims in Oklahoma. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

Baptist churches in Aztec and Bloomfield are collecting money to help tornado victims.

Daniel Snow, a youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Bloomfield, is a native of Oklahoma City. He had friends and family near the destruction zones.

He said his family members were fine but four of his friends lost their homes.

Snow spent Tuesday collecting bottled water, baby formula, wipes and diapers at the church. He'll be accepting more donations today and he and his wife, Jenny, and their two children plan to drive the supplies to Moore on Thursday.

He said he'll be at First Baptist Church in Bloomfield, 200 W. Sycamore Ave., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and then from 7 to 8 p.m.

"As a dad, I know parents are there looking for kids and visa versa," he said. "It's hard to take."

Ryan Boetel can be reached at rboetel@daily-times.com; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.