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 Massive Tornado Rips Through Oklahoma City Suburbs. (UPDATED)

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PostSubject: Massive Tornado Rips Through Oklahoma City Suburbs. (UPDATED)   Mon May 20, 2013 7:40 pm

This one is especially bad considering the massive damaging tornado that touched down in Texas just a week ago. I will be thinking of all of those who were effected as they try to recover from this disaster. I watched the tornado live on the weather channel and it was quite a sight. I hope the injuries and death tolls will stay at a minimum but this was a bad one folks. For all of our members who may be in the path of this severe weather over the next few days stay safe and keep us updated,

Fox News.

Quote :
A mile-wide tornado with 200mph winds churned through Oklahoma City's suburbs Monday afternoon, causing significant property damage for the second day in a row, as part of a severe weather outbreak that was expected to spread in other parts of the Plains and Midwest.

Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, Okla., south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.

Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department said an elementary school in Moore suffered "extensive damage." A Norman, Okla. regional health system spokesperson told Fox News that Moore Medical Center, the only hospital in the city, also suffered "extensive structural damage," demolishing the second floor of the hospital and tearing off part of the roof.

The center evacuated 30 patients to two other hospitals in Norman, Okla. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The National Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, with the first tornado warning coming 16 minutes before it touched down. The preliminary damage rating on the enhanced fujita scale was EF4.

Search and rescue crews are now staging at the Warren Theater in Moore to look for anyone who may be trapped in the rubble, Fox 25 reports. Aerial flyovers showed crowds of residents picking through debris, while one resident told Fox News that children were trapped under cars at the elementary school.

In advance of the storm, the Oklahoma House of Representatives stopped work so Capitol employees could take shelter in the basement. Television and radio broadcasters urged residents to take shelter because the storm's strength and size.

The strongest winds on earth -- 302 mph -- were recorded near Moore during a tornado on May 3, 1999.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman had predicted a major outbreak of severe weather Monday in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service has also issued tornado watches and warnings for counties in Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

On Sunday, at least two people were killed and 29 were injured in Oklahoma as a severe storm system generated several tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, leveling neighborhoods and sending frightened residents scurrying for shelter as extreme conditions are expected to linger across the Midwest.

The tornadoes, high winds and hail have been part of a massive, northeastward-moving storm system that has stretched from Texas to Minnesota.




"It's pretty bad. It's pretty much wiped out."

- Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth


At least four separate twisters touched down in central Oklahoma late Sunday afternoon, including one near the town of Shawnee, 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, that laid waste to much of a mobile home park.

Oklahoma state medical examiner's office spokeswoman Amy Elliott on Monday said the two people killed in the tornado were 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson. Both men were from Shawnee.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said one man, later identified as Irish, was found dead out in the open at Steelman Estates, but the sheriff didn't have details on where he had lived.

“You can see where there's absolutely nothing, then there are places where you have mobile home frames on top of each other, debris piled up,” Booth said. “It looks like there's been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour ... It's pretty bad. It's pretty much wiped out.”

A storm spotter told the National Weather Service that the tornado "scoured" the landscape in the park and an area along Interstate 40. Officials said drivers should expect delays along the highway in Shawnee as crews continue to clean up storm debris. Westbound Interstate 40 was closed Sunday night at U.S. 177 after storms ripped through the area. U.S. 177 was also shut down because of vehicle accidents caused by the severe weather.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said northbound U.S. 177 at I-40 was reopened as of 7 a.m. Monday. Westbound traffic on I-40 is narrowed to one lane, but all lanes are expected to reopen later in the day.

Gov. Mary Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties because of the severe storms and flooding. The declaration lets local governments acquire goods quickly to respond to their residents' needs and puts the state in line for federal help if it becomes necessary.

In Enid, Okla. on Saturday, a police officer was injured in high winds when his cruiser was struck by an object. Area emergency manager Mike Honigsberg told The Oklahoman that the car may have been hit by a cattle trough lifted by the wind. In Oklahoma City, an officer was trapped for a time when surrounded by fallen utility lines.

Another tornado grazed the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond Sunday afternoon, dropping hail as large as a grapefruit and damaging roofs and structures before heading east. Aerial flyovers in Wellston, northeast of Oklahoma City, showed significant property damage.

“I knew it was coming,” said Edmond resident Randy Grau, who huddled with his wife and two young boys in their Edmond home's safe room when the tornado hit. He said he peered out his window as the weather worsened and believed he saw a flock of birds heading down the street.

“Then I realized it was swirling debris,” Grau said. “That's when we shut the door of the safe room. I probably had them in there for 10 minutes.”

Dozen of counties in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri were placed under tornado watches and warnings that were in effect through late Sunday.

In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Content Airport on the city's southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas' biggest city. The Wichita tornado was an EF1 -- the strength of tornado on the enhanced Fujita scale -- with winds of 110 mph, according to the weather service.

Carl Brewer, the mayor of Wichita, told Fox News that the city was hit harder by high winds and golf ball-sized hail than anything from the tornado.

“That alone, and the rain, actually just really did a number on the city,” he said. “It was so bad you think a tornado came through.”

Brewer said hail ripped through the sides of houses in Wichita, in addition to breaking windows and damaging cars.

Jim Raulston, of Wichita, said the ferocious winds slammed the hailstones into his home.

“It was just unbelievable how the hail and everything was just coming straight sideways,” Raulston said.

The National Weather Service also reported two tornadoes touched down in Iowa Sunday — near Huxley and Earlham. Damage included the loss of some cattle when the storm blew over a barn on a farm in Mitchell County. Some 11,000 homes were without power early Monday.

It seems there is a lot of bad news coming in the aftermath of this disaster. @4 children killed is horrible along with all of the other fatalities both human and animals.

http://patdollard.com/2013/05/report-monstrous-tornado-kills-2-dozen-children-at-elementary-school/

Quote :
At least two dozen children were reportedly killed at an elementary school after a monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.

The storm laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, south of the city. Block after block of the community lay in ruins, with heaps of debris piled up where homes used to be. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside. KFOR-TV reports that up to 24 children were killed at the Tower Plaza Elementary School. The Associated Press reports that several children were pulled out alive from Tower Plaza. Rescue workers lifted children from the rubble before they were passed down a human chain and taken to a triage center set up in the school’s parking lot.

All of the children at the elementary school that took the direct blow, Briarwood Elementary School, have been accounted for, according to KWTV.

KFOR-TV meteorologist Mike Morgan called this “the worst tornado damage in the history of the world.”

KWTV reports that there are multiple fatalities in Moore, including a 3-month-old baby and a 4-year-old and three people at a local 7-Eleven. KFOR reports that up to 100 horses were killed on one farm in Moore.

Jim Couch, city manager for Oklahoma City, told CBS News that the area is facing “significant damage.”

“We are in search and rescue mode at this time,” Couch said.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has deployed 80 Oklahoma National Guard members to assist with search and rescue operations in the hardest hit areas of Moore.Fallin said Monday the troops will also help establish a perimeter around some of the most devastated areas in the Oklahoma City suburb.

Fallin also spoke Monday with President Barack Obama who offered the nation’s help and gave Fallin a direct line to his office.

The National Weather Service issued an initial finding that the tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale, the second most-powerful type of twister.

Volunteers and first responders were searching through debris looking for survivors. Television footage showed first-responders picking through rubble and twisted metal.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk in the aftermath of the system. KFOR reports that some people are beginning to loot through homes that were severely damaged.

The storm seemed to blow neighborhoods apart instantly, scattering shards of wood and pieces of insulation across the scarred landscape.

The same suburb was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. That storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth’s surface.

About 55,000 people live in Moore.

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Last edited by OathKeepingJarhead on Mon May 20, 2013 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Updated)
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PostSubject: Re: Massive Tornado Rips Through Oklahoma City Suburbs. (UPDATED)   Tue May 21, 2013 1:59 pm

Here is another update from this morning on the aftermath of yesterdays deadly tornado in Oklahoma. Please keep the victims in your thoughts and prayers and hope that no more severe weather will impede the search and the cleanup.

Source.

Quote :
At least 24 fatalities, including nine children, were reported after a record-breaking tornado swept through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, destroying hundreds of buildings and two schools. Original reports put the number at 51 deaths.

A large tornado touched down on Monday in Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, causing catastrophic damage to several housing developments and at least two schools in the area. A local television news helicopter tracked the tornado as it moved through the area, and then began to survey the extensive destruction to the region.

"We have got good news. The number right now is 24," said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer at the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. The prior figure of 51 dead may have included some double-reported casualties, Elliott said. "There was a lot of chaos," she added.

Elliot said all but three bodies that have been recovered have been identified and are being returned to their families. She cautioned that additional bodies could yet be recovered from the rubble.

Mayor of Moore, Glenn Lewis told CNN on Tuesday that the rescue effort is continuing and "we're very optimistic we might find one or two people."


Over 233 were injured by the tornado, including around 70 children. Many of the victims being treated at two local hospitals. Authorities say that 101 people have been rescued from the rubble thus far.


President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts.


"We don’t yet know the full extent of the damage from this week’s storm – we don’t know the human or economic losses that may have occurred," Obama said in a statement. "Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today and we will back up those prayers with deeds for however long it takes."


Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said on Tuesday that her state will rebuild and asked for prayers throughout the rescue and recovery process.


"Will we be back? Absolutely. Oklahoma has gone through this a couple times and we’re resilient, strong, courageous people," Fallin said on ABC's Good Morning America.


Monday's storm appeared to be the deadliest tornado since 2011, and one of the worst in the last 20 years according to the Atlantic. The town lies in the center of 'Tornado Alley,' an area west of the Mississippi River stretching from north Texas to South Dakota, known for its frequent and powerful tornado systems.

“The whole city looks like a debris field,” Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said.

Rescuers said their efforts had been hampered; even officers familiar with the area were unable to locate landmarks to navigate, especially after sundown.


Officials reported that 75 children and teachers took shelter at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, which had its roof torn off and was flattened by the passing tornado. The school was the site of a rescue effort for several hours after the storm had passed.

"All I could see was destruction. I walked toward a group of people standing by a heaping mound of rubble too big to be a home. A woman told me it was a school," AP photographer Sue Ogrocki said.

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders were evacuated to a church, but younger students sheltered in place, KFOR reported. Seven students at Plaza Towers Elementary School were found drowned at the bottom of the wreckage Monday evening. Several other students and school staffers were pulled out alive from the debris during the day, with officials reporting that teachers had shielded students with their own bodies.

"In the 30 minutes I was outside the destroyed school, I photographed about a dozen children pulled from under the rubble. I focused my lens each one of them. Some looked dazed. Some cried. Others seemed terrified," Ogrocki said.


A first-year teacher at the school told a group of children to shelter in a restroom as the building was rocked by the force of the tornado, KFOR reported. All of them survived the ordeal, and were guided away from the devastated school by rescuers.


Rescue teams continued to sift through the destroyed structure on Monday evening, but no additional survivors were expected, according to local media at the scene.

Students at another local school, Briarwood Elementary, had been accounted for and moved to a safe location.

A man, a woman and a child were found dead under the debris of a collapsed 7-Eleven convenience store and liquor shop where several people were sheltering.


On television, both wrecked vehicles and survivors were seen sprayed with mud, while residents emerged after the tornado had passed to assess the damage and locate family and loved ones.

There was confirmation of at least one structure on fire, possibly caused by a gas leak after the tornado ripped through the area. KOCO reported that cell phone service was down in the Moore region, and aerial footage showed wide swathes of destruction.

Moore was last hit hard by a tornado in 1999, which killed 36 people. That storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface, measured at 302mph.


The National Weather Service initially classified Monday's storm as an EF4, the second-strongest type of tornado, with winds of up to 200 mph. Local reporters who were present for the 1999 storm, however, believe that the damage caused by this tornado is considerably worse.

A major utility company, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, has begun to assess damage to its electric grid following Monday's tornado, according to a spokesperson.


Below is video purportedly of a Moore family emerging from their storm cellar, witnessing the devastation wrought by the powerful tornado.

A severe storm system over the weekend generated baseball-sized hail, high winds and at least 28 tornadoes in the Midwest, including Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. Residents remain in hiding as meteorologists forecast that the severe weather conditions will continue to generate destructive twisters.


Power companies reported that more than 57,000 outages left people in the dark. In Shawnee, Oklahoma, the body of a 79-year-old man was found lying in an open area of a mobile home community.

“You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter,” read a National Weather Service alert posted Sunday. “Complete destruction of neighborhoods, businesses and vehicles will occur. Flying debris will be deadly to people and animals.”

In some regions, homes were destroyed, cars and trucks were flipped from highways, downed power lines were sprawled across neighborhoods, and trees were uprooted. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol shut down Interstate 40 after semi-tractor trailer trucks and several other vehicles were flipped by wind gusts, Newsok.com reported.

“It’s tearing up everything. Just ripping everything up in its sight,” a helicopter pilot told CNN affiliate KFOR, referencing a tornado near Wellston, Oklahoma. “Everything was just gone. Like you took the house, you put it in a gigantic blender, you turned it on pulse for a couple minutes and then you just dumped it out.”

The state was littered with debris from damaged houses, trailers, and vehicles. About 300 homes were in ruins and at least 23 people were injured, according to Fallin and Red Cross spokesperson Ken Garcia.

Ethan Mignard, a staffer at a local newspaper, told CNN’s iReport that the damage looked like something he had only ever seen on TV. In some areas, patches of dirt remained where mobile homes once stood, and children’s toys were littered across the ground and hanging from trees. Mignard even came across a plot of land with nothing remaining but the front steps to a house that is now gone.

“It looks so out of place… To think that you would have taken these stairs to enter a home, but instead, you look around from up there and you see total destruction everywhere,” he said.

Counties across Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri were all placed under tornado watch late Sunday, and are expected to witness more damage.

“After over 300 reports of severe weather on Sunday, another round of dangerous severe weather is expected Monday with the greatest threat once again in the southern Plains targeting Oklahoma and parts of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas,” the National Weather Service reported. “However, severe weather is possible much further north towards Chicago and Madison as well.”





_________________
"Uncommon Valor is a Common Virtue"- Admiral Chester A Nimitz
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