May 2013 Tornado Coverage

Around The State
2:26 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Moore, Choctaw Each Receive $300K In U.S. Commerce Grants

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two organizations in Central Oklahoma will receive more than half-a-million dollars from the U.S. Department of Commerce as part of its Economic Development Administration grant program.

The City of Moore will receive $300,000 to hire a disaster coordinator develop strategies during the rebuilding efforts after May’s devastating tornado. The job will also be responsible for managing disaster assistance at the federal, state and local level.

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State Capitol
1:17 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

UPDATE: Group Launches Oklahoma School Shelter Ballot Drive

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

Organizers have launched a signature-gathering campaign for a $500 million bond issue to put storm shelters in public schools.

The group Take Shelter Oklahoma filed a petition on Wednesday with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office to get the issue on a statewide ballot. Once the ballot language is given final approval by the attorney general, supporters have 90 days to gather about 155,000 signatures of registered voters.

The plan calls for the debt service on the bond issue to be paid by the annual franchise tax levied on businesses.

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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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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:35 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Moore Building Code Changes Likely To Focus On Homes, Not Businesses

An open sign is one of the few items left after a tornado struck this convenient store in Moore, OK.
Credit State Farm / Flickr Creative Commons

When the massive EF5 tornado ripped through Moore on May 20, it took out homes and business alike. Since then, the Moore City Council has been considering updating building codes to make homes safer. But as the Journal Record‘s Molly M. Flemming reports, the city’s construction standards for commercial buildings aren’t being altered much:

Those codes are likely to stay the same, with one slight change.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Twister Truths: Can Nothing Survive An EF5 Tornado?

The skeleton of a home on Lakeview Drive in Moore, which was ravaged by the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

This is part two in StateImpact Oklahoma's "Twister Truths" series where we use data to kick the tires on the conventional wisdom underlying severe weather policy in Oklahoma. Read part one here

Despite the risk that comes with living in Tornado Alley, many Oklahomans are reluctant to build tornado shelters. And state and local building codes don’t factor for twisters.

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6:55 am
Thu August 29, 2013

What Do Hurricane Katrina and the Moore Tornado Have in Common?

Lead in text: 
It's been eight years since Hurricane Katrina, and about three months since the EF-5 tornado that hit Moore, Okla. Mike Smith points out a commonality between the two storms and human reaction.
Yes, they were both "cyclones" (low pressure systems). Yes, they were both windstorms. But, there is something they have in common that might, if not managed properly, cause mass casualties in the future: Terrible traffic jams when a second storm days later.
May 2013 Tornado Coverage
1:31 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

School Year Begins In Moore, Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the damage of Plaza Tours Elementary School in Moore in the days after the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to Meghna Chakrabarti's conversation with Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines.

Students are back in school in Moore, Oklahoma, nearly three months after a deadly tornado tore through town.

The storm killed a total of 25 people, including seven third-graders who had hunkered down at the Plaza Towers Elementary School with their teachers.

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May 2013 Tornado Coverage
8:23 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Oklahoma School Districts Consider Adding Storm Shelters

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Today is the first day of school for students in Moore, Oklahoma. It is a bittersweet return. Nearly three months ago, a tornado tore through that small community. The storm destroyed hundreds of buildings, including two elementary schools. Seven students and 18 other people died. The storm has fueled a debate about why there aren't more storm shelters in the heart of Tornado Alley. Across Oklahoma, there's no statewide plan to put shelters in schools.

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All Tech Considered
6:34 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Tornado Tech: How Drones Can Help With Twister Science

Drones can provide information about temperature, humidity and pressure that current radar systems can't provide. Above, the Talos drone, which has a 15.5-foot wingspan.
Jamey Jacob Oklahoma State University

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:15 am

Oklahoma was hit particularly hard by two massive outbreaks this year in what's been another deadly season of tornadoes in the U.S. Despite technology and forecasting improvements, scientists still have plenty to learn about how and why tornadoes form.

Currently, one of the best ways for researchers to understand how tornadoes form is to chase them. So off they go with mobile science laboratories, rushing toward storms armed with research equipment and weather-sensing probes.

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