Scientists, City Officials Say Moore's Warren Theatre Not A Severe Weather Destination

Apr 24, 2014

As the state prepares for another round of severe weather Saturday, city officials in Moore are worried about residents taking shelter in a local movie theater that held up well during the May 20, 2013 tornado.

“People think that the Warren Theatre is magic,” said National Severe Storms Laboratory senior scientist Harold Brooks. “The Warren Theatre was basically not hit by the tornado. It survived [as well as] it did because it didn't get hit by the tornado.”

Moore Emergency Management Director Gayland Kitch told television station KOCO the theatre isn’t any safer than most buildings if it took a direct hit.

 “It may be very well built but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an engineered shelter; in fact, it’s not an engineered shelter.”

The EF-5 twister completely destroyed the Moore Medical Center, less than a quarter-mile from the Warren Theatre.

“I'm pretty sure that people will be showing up at the Warren when there's a tornado watch this year, and that's just not a very good idea,” Brooks said during KGOU and the Oklahoma Tornado Project’s March 12 public forum on storm safety and preparedness. “The difference in the winds that the medical center got and the theatre got was huge.”


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