severe storms

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

From Italy to Istanbul, the tragedy in Moore isn’t far from many people's minds or the front pages of international newspapers.

"We have received an amazing outpouring here from the mayor to regular citizens stopping by to see how they can help," says Rebecca Cruise, who's visiting the University of Oklahoma's center in Arezzo, Italy. "The emails from faculty with students abroad also show how much the world is paying attention to this story."

This week, 15-year-old Darius Joseph found himself displaced again - the Dick family home was destroyed in the tornado on Monday.

Storms, Flooding Slowing Tornado Recovery

May 23, 2013
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A band of thunderstorms is battering the Oklahoma City area and slowing cleanup operations in the southern suburb where a tornado killed 24 people and destroyed thousands of homes earlier this week.

The National Weather Service said Thursday that the storms are producing hail, heavy rain and high winds. A flash flood warning is also in effect for some areas.

The Weather Service says more severe storms are forecast for late afternoon and at night. It says tornados are a possibility.

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.

"Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said Tuesday there were no safe rooms in the two schools leveled by the tornado. Speaking at a public news briefing, Ashwood said hundreds of schools across the state have installed reinforced tornado shelters, but Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary were not among them."

When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma City energy giant, a veterans group, and a superstar athlete have each announced three separate $1 million gifts to aid storm relief efforts following Monday's tornado that killed dozens in Moore.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced this morning it will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in the rescue and recovery efforts in Moore.

The oil and gas company says it's also organizing hundreds of employee volunteers to help in the relief effort.

Coburn: Any Tornado Aid Must Be Paid For

May 21, 2013
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) greeting President Barack Obama.
Tom Coburn / Facebook

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says that any additional federal aid to help tornado victims and to rebuild devastated areas of his state should be financed with cuts to other programs in the government's $3.6 trillion budget.

Spokesman John Hart says it's a position Coburn has consistently held regarding federal spending on disasters dating to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Google

This interactive map from Google highlights the storm track, as well as locations for American Red Cross shelters throughout Central Oklahoma.

Relief organization Save the Children says it's sending help to families affected by Monday's deadly tornado in Moore.

Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles says experience shows that children are most vulnerable during emergencies. The organization plans to send kits for shelters to create safe play spaces for children displaced by Monday's deadly tornado.

Lauren Gardner stands near a family members house, which was destroyed by the tornado.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz took cover in Moore on his drive home from KGOU Monday afternoon. Once the tornado passed, he immediately went to work reporting for Oklahoma's public radio stations and NPR.

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