When Randy Keller moved from Texas to the Oklahoma City area seven years ago, he couldn't find the house he was looking for.
"I was moving from Texas, where there are also a lot of tornadoes," says the professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Oklahoma who experienced the 1970 tornado in Lubbock, Texas. "But I just couldn't find one."
Stunning visual images have emerged that show a side-by-side comparison of the areas of Moore hardest hit by Monday’s tornado. Follow this link to see an interactive spatial scrawl.
“I've flown over that corridor dozens of times and shoot Southeast 19th Street and Interstate 35 regularly as it's a prime development location,” says photographer Jamin Yeager with Aerial Oklahoma. On Tuesday, he says “we waited for the weather to clear and got airborne by 3:45.”
The pictures show the hardest hit areas between SW 4th and 19th Streets just west of I-35. The entire neighborhood behind the Warren Theatre was flattened, and there’s a noticeable brown tint caused by mud and debris along the tornado’s path.
"Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said Tuesday there were no safe rooms in the two schools leveled by the tornado.
Speaking at a public news briefing, Ashwood said hundreds of schools across the state have installed reinforced tornado shelters, but Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary were not among them."
With state officials acknowledging that two elementary schools destroyed by Monday's tornado had no safe rooms, some lawmakers began pressing to increase the number of shelters and provide funds to build them. Rep.
"Jessica’s father was at home when the tornado hit and hid in the bathroom. It was the only room in the house where the roof wasn't entirely ripped off, and her father survived.
“It makes you feel blessed,” Ellerd said. She gestured toward the house. “This is just stuff.”
Even as President Obama was declaring that tornado-devastated Oklahoma would get "everything it needs right away," the state's most vociferous critic of federal emergency aid vowed that he, too, would push for assistance "without delay."
An Oklahoma City energy giant, a veterans group, and a superstar athlete have each announced three separate $1 million gifts to aid storm relief efforts following Monday's tornado that killed dozens in Moore.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced this morning it will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in the rescue and recovery efforts in Moore.
The oil and gas company says it's also organizing hundreds of employee volunteers to help in the relief effort.