Weather and Climate

Environment
12:55 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Declining Prairie Chicken Population Further ‘Decimated’ By Drought

Credit USDAgov / Flickr Creative Commons

The declining population of lesser prairie chickens has been an issue for years. It was during the 1990s — and another drought — that the species was first proposed for federal protection.

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Ahead of the Storm
6:43 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Oklahoma's May Tornadoes Call For Ability To Adapt

Kristy Yager, Erin Engelke and Cynthia Reid discuss lessons they learned from the May tornadoes at a panel discussion held by the Oklahoma City chapter of the Association of Women in Communication.
Credit Kate Carlton

Kristy Yager is the Public Information Officer for Oklahoma City.  She’s used to creating game plans for emergencies.  So when May 20 came, she made her way to a bunker with emergency managers, police and a handful of city officials.  She’d prepared for the crisis as best she could, but found herself overwhelmed trying to handle the influx of media requests. 

“The minute that tornado hit the ground, I started getting national phone calls from everyone, from Fox, from CNN, from ABC, NBC, CBS,” Yager said. “I was having a very hard time managing the calls.”

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:32 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Tulsa Escaping Worst Of Drought, But ‘Abnormally Dry’ Conditions Taking A Toll

Arkansas River near Tulsa, Okla.
Credit OakleyOriginals / Flickr Creative Commons

Tulsa has been spared the worst effects of Oklahoma’s drought, which has been concentrated in western and southwestern regions of the state.

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Hurricane Sandy
4:01 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Sandy Victims Face Eviction From New York Hotels

Some people displaced by Sandy have been staying at the Park Central Hotel. (Jim Henderson/Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:19 pm

Starting tomorrow, the city of New York plans to evict about 300 people who were displaced by Superstorm Sandy, from the hotels where they’ve been staying.

Desiree Marino, a retired New York City police officer, was flooded out of her home in Brooklyn. She’s been living in the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan.

She spoke yesterday at a press conference with several other people who are slated to be evicted, about wanting to be able to go home:

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Ahead of the Storm
6:41 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project Assists Those Still Stuck In Tornado Aftermath

Ken Garcia, Communications Director for the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma

After tornadoes tore through the state last May, Oklahomans were eager to offer help. Four months later, some groups have closed their doors and moved on, leaving people stuck in red tape with nowhere to go. Recently, the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project opened its doors to the 2,500 individuals still trying to navigate their way through the recovery process. 

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:47 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Mapped: Which Oklahoma Schools Have Storm Shelters

Red dots indicate schools without shelters. Green dots are schools with shelters.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The results of a statewide survey released Thursday show 62 percent of Oklahoma’s 1,804 public schools don’t have storm shelters, and only 15 percent have shelters built to withstand the 250 mph winds of an EF5 tornado, like the ones that swept through central Oklahoma in May 2013.

StateImpact has mapped the data from the survey, the first statewide accounting of public school storm shelters, which was conducted by Bar None Consulting for the Oklahoma Legislature’s use in an interim study.

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School Shelters
8:58 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Study: In-School Storm Shelters Deficient In Oklahoma

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

A proponent of a ballot measure to place storm shelters in Oklahoma schools says a survey of all public schools in the state shows more than 60 percent without a refuge or safe area.

Rush Springs Democratic state Representative Joe Dorman announced the results of the survey on Thursday of all 517 school districts in Oklahoma's 77 counties. The survey was paid for by Coreslab Structures, a company that manufactures precast concrete products with two plants in Oklahoma.

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Tornado Recovery
9:21 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Moore Building Permits Increase

Survivors of May's tornado look at a car damaged in the storm.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Officials in Moore say the city has issued a record number of building permits since the May 20 tornado that devastated the community.

City officials say Moore issued 78 building permits in the last month — compared to 24 permits issued at the same time last year. Of those, 54 permits are for rebuilding and 24 are new construction.

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May 2013 Tornado Outbreak
12:31 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Moore Tax Receipts Up As City Continues Recovery

Loading supplies for disaster relief - May 23, 2013
Credit Kerry Rodtnick / University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Leaders in Moore say tornado recovery efforts have caused sales tax collections to skyrocket in the city.

The Norman Transcript reports that Moore received more than $2.6 million in total sales tax from the Oklahoma Tax Commission in September. That includes general fund receipts, which are up more than 12 percent from last year.

City Manager Stephen Eddy calls the numbers "amazing" and says rebuilding efforts from the May 20 tornado are likely responsible.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:17 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

List Of Schools Unwilling To Wait For Government Action on Tornado Shelters Grows

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s only been little more than three months since an EF5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., and devastated two schools. And already, the state’s public schools are responding.

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