Moore

StateImpact Oklahoma
11:04 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Some Shelterless Oklahoma Schools To Cancel Class When Tornados Threaten

Mara Crew's father, Jesse, says he'd prefer Tulsa-area schools install storm shelters instead of closing doors for "tornado days" during severe weather.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’

Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.

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May 2013 Tornadoes
9:43 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Moore Council Tables Proposal On Storm Shelters

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Moore City Council has tabled a proposal that would have required storm shelters for houses, apartments, mobile homes and group residential housing.

Also Monday, the council delayed voting on a measure that would have required bolting and fastening to strengthen homes against tornadoes. The Norman Transcript reports Mayor Glenn Lewis says the city will meet with local builders before moving forward with the ordinances.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:59 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Public Shelter Policy in Oklahoma: Yes for Nukes, No for Natural Disasters

Oklahoma had licensed more than a half-million public shelters in the mid-'60s, like this one in a Post Office in Sapulpa.
Credit FALLSROAD / Flickr Creative Commons

In the 1960s, survey teams of architects and engineers started hunting across Oklahoma for places to hunker down.

They found basements and tunnels, underground parking garages and well-built structures in municipal and private buildings.

At the time, Oklahoma’s big worry was an attack from Soviet Russia. That threat never materialized, but the state is targeted by tornadoes every year. And public shelter spaces are disappearing from the map.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:02 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Why Oklahoma’s Priority Is Storm Shelters For Individuals, Not Safe Rooms For Schools

Eleven-year-old Gavin Hawkins stands near the rubble of the Plaza Tower Elementary School. His dad, Joel, rushed to the school to pick up his son before the storm hit.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

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Seven children were killed at an elementary school in Moore when a massive tornado tore through the area last month.

And the disaster has led to questions about why Oklahoma used previous federal disaster money to build more than 10,000 storm shelters in homes, but only 85 in public schools.

Getting the answer means going back to another major storm, on May 3rd, 1999, and another state.

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Tornado Recovery
10:48 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Moore Debris Removal: 56,550 Tons And Counting

A man stands on his house and surveys the damage after the May 20 tornado in Moore.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Moore City Manager Steve Eddy says more than 56,000 tons of debris have been removed from neighborhoods in Moore as the city reaches the one-month mark since a deadly tornado carved through the Oklahoma City suburb on May 20.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for 85 percent of the cost of debris removal through Wednesday, when the share was reduced to 80 percent. The 80-20 federal-local match will continue for another 30 days. After that, the federal share of the cleanup cost will drop to the traditional 75 percent.

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Severe Storms
9:30 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Oklahoma’s Building Codes Don’t Factor For Tornadoes

Tim Marshall, a meteorologist and civil engineer, stands near a water tank in a tornado-ravaged Moore neighborhood. The tank fell from the sky after being carried a half-mile, Marshall says.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The “Oklahoma Standard” is a phrase that describes how this state responds in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, like the tornado that ripped through Moore on May 20.

But that resiliency isn’t reflected in Oklahoma’s construction standards, which don’t factor for tornadoes.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:02 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

$500 Million to $5 Billion: What’s Behind The Wide Ranging Tornado Cost Estimates?

A man on top of a house surveying tornado damage in Moore, Okla..
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Following a major disaster like the Moore tornado on May 20th, news reporters want answers, and they don’t want to wait.

How many people were killed? How many injured? How much damage did the storm cause, and how much will it cost? Answers to the first three questions may not come immediately, but within a few days, they usually can be addressed fairly accurately.

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10:12 am
Mon June 3, 2013

National Geographic's Haunting Last Interview With Storm Chaser Samaras

Lead in text: 
This weekend brought the sad news that Tim Samaras, a high-profile storm chaser, was killed with his son in Friday's twister in El Reno, Oklahoma.
For years, Samaras has driven into the heart of tornadoes, equipment in hand, to learn more about them. Late last month, as tornado season was opening in Oklahoma, Samaras talked to National Geographic about what motivated him to engage in such dangerous work--starting with a boyhood viewing of "The Wizard of Oz." It was our last interview with him, and one of his final interviews before his untimely death.
Severe Storms
10:13 am
Sun June 2, 2013

UPDATE: At Least 10 Dead When Tornado Hits Oklahoma City Area

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has 600 workers assessing damage in the Oklahoma City area battered by tornadoes and violent storms.

Gov. Mary Fallin says crews are searching flooded areas for missing people and the death toll could rise.

Ten people are confirmed to have been killed in Oklahoma as a result of Friday's storms. Five others were killed by flash flooding in Arkansas and Missouri.

More than 75 other people were hurt, five critically.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a mother and child were killed as tornadoes moved through Oklahoma City.

Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph says troopers found the bodies near a vehicle along Interstate 40 west of the city Friday.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews are working closely with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to close interstates and highways metro-wide as necessary. All travel is strongly discouraged as emergency crews continue to respond to tornado damage and flooding.

Tens of thousands of OG&E customers are without power, according to the utility's System Watch.

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Severe Storms
9:12 am
Sun June 2, 2013

No 'Universal' Best Practice To Save Yourself From Tornadoes

A tornado forms over I-40 in Midwest City, Okla., during rush hour on Friday.
Alonzo Adams AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 5:11 pm

Friday's tornadoes came less than two weeks after an F-5 tornado destroyed a large section of Moore, just south of Oklahoma City. Both episodes raise two sides of one question: When caught in a tornado's path, should you run or hide?

For Morning Edition the day after the powerful tornado on May 20, NPR's Wade Goodwyn spoke with Molly Edwards, who was covered in pink insulation and standing on the rubble of her home with her family.

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