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Moore native Hefner has hometown in his thoughts

NEW YORK -- The town where Jeremy Hefner spent the early part of his life has become unrecognizable. After a devastating tornado ravaged Moore, Okla., on Monday, Hefner watched the horrifying images of the destroyed town with an increasingly helpless feeling.

"At first, I think because of the amount of cellular activity going on, there was probably two and a half hours before I fully knew that everyone was OK," Hefner said, "and everybody's house was OK."

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He took time before and after Monday's game to express his concern on Twitter, posting:

"My thoughts and prayers are with everyone back home.. I attended one of the schools that was hit.. Wish I was there to help."

"Oklahoma is a special place with very special people.. Please keep them in your prayers."

"If you feel led to give.. 100% goes to affected areas..

Hefner spent the first 10 years of his life in Moore. He attended Briarwood and Red Oak elementary schools; Briarwood is reported to have been severely hit. Hefner has family in the area, including a grandmother, uncles and cousins. He also has many friends there.

Moore was also hit by a large tornado back in 1999. Hefner and his family had moved from the area to another part of Oklahoma about two years before that.

"When I heard it was in Moore again, I was freaking out," he said.

He expects people in the town to come together and pull through the devastation.

"People from Oklahoma are resilient, and they're hard-working," he said. "This will only make them stronger, just like the one in 1999 did. It brought the community closer."

Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for

New York Mets, Jeremy Hefner