May 2013 Tornado Coverage

SFC Kendall James / defenseimagery.mil

The Oklahoma House reversed course Thursday night and narrowly passed a plan it had earlier defeated to help school districts pay for safety upgrades such as storm shelters and safe rooms.

House members voted 51-39 last night for the plan supported by Gov. Mary Fallin. It takes a minimum of 51 votes to pass a bill in the 101-member House.

The chamber had defeated the proposal hours earlier by a bipartisan vote of 61-34. House members said that Fallin's office had urged members of the majority GOP caucus to change their no votes.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the May 20, 2013 tornado that killed 24 residents in Moore, injured hundreds, and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage.

To mark the occasion, the Norman Forecast Office of the National Weather Service put together a presentation highlighting a dozen observations from the 2013 storms in the community also hard-hit by strong, violent tornadoes in May 1999 and May 2013.

Kate Carlton / The Oklahoma Tornado Project

Local and state officials gathered Tuesday morning in Moore to honor the 24 people killed and hundreds injured May 20, 2013 when a tornado struck the city.

Gov. Mary Fallin said thousands of Oklahomans went above and beyond the call of duty last year, but singled out educators from Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools.

"Our teachers who used their own bodies as a shield, to help save children, to help protect children,” Fallin said. “Our teachers are our heroes."

A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.

Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Their deaths have sparked efforts to better prepare Hispanic families for storms.

On a windy afternoon in Oklahoma City, American Red Cross volunteer Ivelisse Cruz hands out stickers to families at the Children's Day Festival.

Kate Carlton / Oklahoma Tornado Project

Devon Energy announced a $200,000 gift Tuesday to help the City of Moore rebuild the Little River Park that was damaged by the May 20, 2013 tornado.

Reconstruction of the park along Southwest Fourth Street just west of Telephone Road will also be funded by the PATH 2022 master plan's dedicated sales tax.

The aftermath of the May 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

On Wednesday, the Society of Professional Journalists honored KGOU, KOSU, and StateImpact Oklahoma with a national Sigma Delta Chi award for collaborative coverage during the immediate aftermath of the May 20, 2013 tornado that devastated Moore.

Gov. Mary Fallin / Facebook

The Oklahoma Legislature has honored a soldier with the 45th Infantry Brigade who was seriously injured while trying to protect others when a massive tornado struck Moore in May.

Sgt. E.H. Pittman was honored with the Oklahoma Star of Valor Tuesday during a joint session of the Legislature to honor members of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s little doubt Oklahomans will be more sensitive and more concerned than usual as the spring storm season approaches after the devastating events of May 2013. Dozens of people died as three violent tornadoes tore across Pottawatomie, Canadian and Cleveland counties within a two-week span.

Since September, KGOU has been working to prepare for severe weather in 2014 with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. On March 12, we hosted a panel discussion about tornado preparedness and storm safety at the Moore Public Library, just a few hundred yards from where the May 20 twister crossed Interstate 35.

We learned six things you need to know to prepare for the 2014 tornado season:

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service issued a report Friday examining last May's tornados in Oklahoma. The assessment encourages the Norman Forecast Office to develop a plan for more than one severe weather event at a time.

On May 31, eight people died in the El Reno tornado while 13 died from flash flooding that followed heavy rain. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kenneth Harding says each element of a multiple warning system should be weighted based upon its urgency and severity.

Moore Approves Tornado Resistant Building Codes

Mar 18, 2014
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The City of Moore is adopting stricter building codes intended to reduce the damage from high winds. The new regulations should strengthen homes against tornado damage.

The codes approved by the Moore City Council Monday would require hurricane straps that connect the roof of a home to the wall studs. The rules also add anchors that tie the frame to the foundation, continuous plywood bracing and garage doors built to withstand high winds.

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