Powerful Before/After Aerial Images of Moore

May 22, 2013

The area over the Moore Medical Center before the storm, and the Warren Theatre on May 21, 2013
Credit Jamin Yeager / Aerial Oklahoma

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.

Yeager was in a small Cessna about 500 feet above the news and police helicopters.

“I racked my brain trying to remember which runs took me over the path,” Yeager says. “Once I located [the original images], I checked which camera/lens combo we'd used at the time as well as rough altitude and coordinated with my pilot.”

Yeager’s parents started Aerial Oklahoma in 1995, and he’s been with the company since 2003. Since then, the company has mostly provided photos for real estate development, as well as historical aerial photography for environmental assessment.

His father took similar photos of the May 3, 1999 tornado and the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

“This is the first big storm I've seen from the air, and well...I should get a storm shelter,” Yeager says. “I'm honestly shocked there wasn't a greater loss of life.”