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 Moore, Oklahoma residents continue to sift through rubble left by deadly tornado
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1 year ago

Moore, Oklahoma residents continue to sift through rubble left by deadly tornado

(NBC News) Clean up continues in the Moore, Oklahoma as residents and volunteers work to clear debris and salvage what they can.

The community is grappling with their significant loss of 24 neighbors, but there are some signs of hope and resilience as well.

On Thursday mourners buried the first of seven students, 9-year-old Antonia Candelaria, killed at Plaza Towers Elementary School.

Those who survived expressed gratitude for the teachers and staff who put themselves at risk protecting children.

"I'm never going to have anything - or any words to repay her for what she did. You know she threw herself on my daughter to protect her," said one mom. "There were other parents screaming their kids' names just like I was, and they didn't have any responses, and my heart just goes out to them, because I couldn't' imagine what it would feel like to not have my son go, 'Hey mom, I'm here I'm okay'."

Students from the second damaged school, Briarwood Elementary, gathered Thursday for a final assembly and a chance at closure.

President Obama is scheduled to visit the ravaged community Sunday.

He will tour the 17 mile path of destroyed homes and businesses and meet with first responders.

Read more: http://nbcnews.to/14YCeWo

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1 year ago

Caught On Cam: Inside The Storm

(KFOR) A terrifying sight was captured on cell phone video as Monday's deadly tornado tore through Newcastle, Oklahoma before making its way to the city of Moore.

As clean-up continues two days after the EF-5 twister left a path of destruction in its wake, a KFOR viewer sent in the video of the tornado's fury.

1 year ago

Names of those killed in Oklahoma tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma medical examiner's office says it has positively identified 23 of 24 people killed in the tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, including 10 children. Officials still were trying to contact eight victims' relatives Wednesday, but released the names of 16 others:

- Terri Long, 49

- Megan Futrell, 29

- Case Futrell, 4 months

- Shannon Quick, 40

- Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months

- Karrina Vargyas, 4

- Jenny Neely, 38

- Antonia Candelaria, 9

- Kyle Davis, 8

- Janae Hornsby, 9

- Sydney Angle, 9

- Emily Conatzer, 9

- Nicolas McCabe, 9

- Christopher Legg, 9

- Cindy Plumley, age unknown

- Deanna Ward, age unknown

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

Okla. City mayor: Up to 13K homes hit by tornado

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett says 12,000 to 13,000 homes were affected by the tornado that tore through a city suburb.

At least 24 people died when the tornado laid waste to Moore on Monday afternoon.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department says the financial cost of the tornado could exceed $2 billion, because of the size and duration of the storm. The disaster zone stretches more than 17 miles and the tornado was on the ground for 40 minutes.

An aerial view of the site shows whole neighborhoods obliterated, with gouged earth littered with splintered wood and pulverized cars.

The National Weather Service says the tornado was a top-of-the-scale EF5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph - the first EF5 tornado of 2013.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

"Monster" reunited with owner after his cage was blown away during Oklahoma tornado

(KFOR) "Monster" the dog was separated from his family after Monday's devastating tornado in Oklahoma, his cage wrapped around a tree with him trapped inside.

But he was reunited with his family thanks to his dog collar.

Some animals that have been separated from their owners have been taken to the 1 Day Ranch Animal Rescue Center.

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1 year ago

Joshua Hornsby mourns the loss of his young daughter killed in the Oklahoma tornado

(KFOR) A father searched all night for his daughter and didn't find out until the next day she was killed in Plaza Towers Elementary during the Moore tornado.

The single father said he was running errands in Oklahoma City when he got word about the Moore tornado.

He lost his daughter, Janae Hornsby, at Plaza Towers and he lost his home in a nearby neighborhood.

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1 year ago

Colossal clean up begins in Oklahoma

(NBC News) Moore, Oklahoma officials believe they've pulled all survivors from the rubble of Monday's devastating tornado as well as all bodies. 24 people were killed, and more than 200 are injured.

With rescue and recovery efforts now complete, the focus shifts to the mammoth task of rebuilding the 17 miles of destruction.

Progress is already visible, but make no mistake, this is a huge, emotional project for those involved

Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole represents the people of Moore. He toured the area Tuesday.

"I literally could lose my bearings surrounded by the wreckage in streets I've walked across for decades," Cole said.

Meagan Jackson recently lost her father. Now she struggles with emotion after the powerful e-5 twister took what memories she had.

"My dad passed away and i had all his stuff in there and that's not anything you can replace," said Jackson.

Maria Rodriguez meanwhile is counting her blessings.

On Monday she raced to pick her kids up from the now destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School.

"I saw that there was a lot of glass windows and then I though this isn't going to work. I gotta get them out and that's kind of what made my choice," said Rodriguez

Choices made in split seconds to replay again and again in the minds of the victims as they struggle to cope in the midst of disaster.

Read More: http://on.today.com/ZdHwim

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1 year ago

Okla. mayor wants to require tornado shelters


MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The mayor of the Oklahoma City suburb battered by a monstrous tornado says he is pushing to require safe-room shelters in all new homes.

Glen Lewis said Wednesday he will propose an ordinance in the next couple of days at the Moore City Council that would modify building codes to require the construction of reinforced shelters in every new home in the town of 56,000.

The suburb was also hit by a massive tornado in 1999 that followed nearly the same path as the storm Monday that killed at least 24 people.

Lewis says he is confident he'll get the four votes needed on the six-member council. The measure could be in force within months.

Underground safe rooms are typically built below garages and can cost around $4,000.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

FEMA Chief: Feds won't go 'when the cameras leave'

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says U.S. officials are "going neighborhood to neighborhood" to make sure Oklahoma gets the help it needs.

FEMA's Craig Fugate promises in an interview that officials won't desert Oklahoma, saying "We don't leave here when the cameras leave. We stay here and get the job done." Fugate tells CNN that the agency has enough money to assist the people of Moore, Okla., who were caught in the path of destruction as the nearly 1.3-mile-wide twister struck Monday afternoon. He says officials will work aggressively to help people find temporary housing and says FEMA is working with other officials to get services restored.

The emergency management director arrived in the state Tuesday, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is due there Wednesday.

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1 year ago

Returning to what's left

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -Many of the residents of Moore, Okla., have begun the process of assessing what's left of their homes and possessions and what comes next.

Some neighborhoods were left flattened by the twister that stretched some 1.3 miles wide at points.

And it was the fourth tornado to hit Moore since 1998. Monday's twister killed at least 24 people.

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1 year ago

Images of disasters affecting people's moods

No matter where you turn, whether it's the TV, Internet, or you phone, you are bound to see images of the damage left from a deadly tornado in Moore, Oklahoma on Monday. The destruction follows a series of unfortunate, unrelated events in the country in the last few months, from the Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December, and last month's bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Courtney Meznarich, an account coordinator with the San Luis Obispo public relations and marketing firm Barnett Cox & Associates, said, "It almost switches off in your mind, and so you become desensitized to the imagery, and you become desensitized to the stories."

She said people are constantly getting inundated minute to minute with information, and it can leave some feeling sad and unmotivated.

"It really affects these organizations who are trying to get donations and who are trying to seek support because people turn off. They shut down," said Meznarich.

Brad Rudd, a licensed family therapist in San Luis Obispo, said, "It's good to be informed and know whats going on, but I think we need to be intentional about creating windows that create a space for some peace."

Rudd said people can stay positive by focusing on things that are in their control, like their mental health. He said a strong mental state of mind can help in offsetting the sadness one might feel when a tragic event occurs. He said it may also help people to conjure up feelings of hope.

"When I think about world circumstances, it can feel overwhelming. So, when I think about hope, I think about trying to make a difference where I am today," said Rudd.

Paul Deis, the Emergency Services Manager for the American Red Cross Central Coast Region, said thankfully, donations have not been low despite what some may call "tragedy fatigue". He said people along the Central Coast are still giving their time and money, something very important in helping the cause in Oklahoma.

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1 year ago

As many as 20,000 Oklahoma families may be displaced by Monday's tornado

(NBC News) It's been more than 24 hours since a massive tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma and only now is the scope of the disaster coming into focus for those affected and those working to assist with the recovery.

As rescue crews dug through the rubble looking for possible survivors, residents surveyed their property and gathered what belongings, if any, they could find.

The official death toll is down from last night's estimate of 51. It now stands at 24, including nine children, but officials fear that number could still rise.

"Because the devastation is so bad, it's difficult to get a handle on how many may be missing." said Craig Fugate, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Volunteers are going house to house to see who needs help or supplies, many like volunteer Joshua Edwards was overwhelmed by the destruction.

"It sounds cliche, but speechless" said Edwards.

"You look at it and what can you say? Everything is gone," said Matt Mangen another volunteer.

Read More: http://nbcnews.to/16K4DEm

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1 year ago

Oklahoma twister a top-of-the-scale EF-5

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph.

Spokeswoman Keli Pirtle said Tuesday the agency upgraded the tornado from an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale to an EF-5 based on what a damage assessment team saw on the ground. The weather service uses the word "incredible" to describe the power of EF-5 storms.

The weather service says the tornado's path was 17 miles long and 1.3 miles wide.

Pirtle says Monday's twister is the first EF-5 tornado of 2013.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

Medical examiner: 24 dead in Oklahoma twister

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The state medical examiner's office has revised the death toll from a tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb to 24 people, including seven children.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliot said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm. Authorities said initially that as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.

Teams are continuing to search the rubble in Moore, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, after the Monday afternoon tornado.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

More tornadoes in forecast for central US today


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - More severe weather is in the forecast for parts of the central United States already reeling from powerful tornadoes this week.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says golf ball-sized hail, powerful winds and isolated, strong tornadoes could strike areas of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma today. The area at risk does not include Moore, Okla., where dozens of people were killed in a monstrous tornado Monday.

Forecasters say the greatest risk for severe weather today includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The National Weather Service is predicting flash flooding in parts of Arkansas and Louisiana as the storm system dumps several inches of rain in a short time frame Tuesday afternoon.

In Moore, where search and rescue operations continue, showers and thunderstorms are expected today with heavy rainfall.

1 year ago

Local Red Cross ready to help Oklahoma tornado victims

Even though the deadly Oklahoma tornado hit almost 1,500 miles away, it still affects us here at home, emotionally, if not directly through loved ones who are there. The American Red Cross, as always, is ready to help.

"The first time you go to help people, it changes you forever. Your heart is changed," said Paul Deis, Emergency Services Manager for the American Red Cross Central Coast Region.

Deis said the organization is there for everyone in the country. If one area hits a low, that is when it is their job to help pick up the pieces.

He said, "Right now we've called out to people to confirm their availability to deploy in case we get deployment requests tonight and tomorrow."

Deis said there are two main ways we here on the Central Coast can help. He said you can donate money to the American Red Cross, which will go towards helping the victims in Oklahoma. The second way, Deis said, is to become a volunteer.

"In the initial part of the disaster, volunteers will be sent to help with feeding and sheltering and client case work, which is to evaluate people's needs, so we can figure out what we can do to help them in their needs," said Deis.

Deis said there is a long road ahead for the residents of suburban Oklahoma City- a stark reminder that disaster can strike anywhere at anytime.

He said, "Well always be prepared to take care of yourselves for a week. Have five days of water, five days of food."

Deis said on top of water and food, in case of an emergency, everyone should have a plan of a family meeting spot and have medications ready. He added that those on the Central Coast should be aware that we are in wildfire season and always in earthquake season.

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1 year ago

Hospitals treat more than 120 after Okla. tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Officials at two hospitals say they're treating more than 120 patients, including about 70 children, after a massive tornado hit suburban Oklahoma City.

OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger says the hospital and a nearby children's hospital are treating approximately 85 patients, including 65 children, after Monday afternoon's twister.

He said their conditions ranged from minor injuries to critical.

Integris Southwest Medical Center spokeswoman Brooke Cayot says 10 of 37 patients being treated at that facility Monday are listed in critical condition. Twelve are in serious and 15 others are listed in fair or good condition.

Cayot says five of the patients at Integris are children, including two who came from the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

2 hospitals treating nearly 60 after Okla. tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Officials at two hospitals say they're treating nearly 60 patients, including more than a dozen children, after a massive tornado hit suburban Oklahoma City.

Integris Southwest Medical Center spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said 10 of 37 patients being treated at that facility Monday are listed in critical condition. Twelve are in serious and 15 others are listed in fair or good condition.

Five of the patients are children, including two who came from the Plaza Towers Elementary School, where an Associated Press photographer saw several children being pulled from the rubble. Cayot could not confirm the children's conditions.

Spokesman Scott Coppenbarger says another 20 patients of various ages are being treated at OU Medical Center. He says eight of them are children.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

NWS: Okla. tornado had winds up to 200 mph

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., had wind speeds up to 200 mph.

The weather service's preliminary classification of Monday afternoon's tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale.

Authorities say emergency crews are working to rescue people trapped in Moore, which is southwest of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said emergency crews are trying to reach the affected areas. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

UPDATE: Tornado in Oklahoma City suburb causes destruction

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., had wind speeds up to 200 mph.

The weather service's preliminary classification of Monday afternoon's tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale.

Authorities say emergency crews are working to rescue people trapped in Moore, which is southwest of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said emergency crews are trying to reach the affected areas. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

Photo Credit: NBC News

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1 year ago

Police: School near OKC directly hit by tornado

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Authorities say an elementary school in an Oklahoma City suburb took a direct hit from a mile-wide tornado.

Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department says there is no word of injuries from the elementary school. Knight says the school suffered "extensive damage" on Monday afternoon.

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

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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1 year ago

Tornado in Oklahoma City suburb causes destruction

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A mile-wide tornado chewing through the Oklahoma City area has reduced neighborhoods to rubble and left cars and trucks crumpled on the sides of highways.

Television video left piles of debris where homes used to be near Moore, Okla., and vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The suburb of Moore, where Monday's damage was concentrated, was hit hard by a tornado in 1999 that included the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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