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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

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.

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.

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.

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.

University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Howard Bluestein reflects on his friend Tim Samaras, who died Friday in El Reno.

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.

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

Jun 2, 2013
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.

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.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Coming up, the strange history of tornado preparedness. Why exactly did they tell us to hide in the southwest corner of the basement? This is NPR News.

Survey: No Cuts Needed To Offset Disaster Spending

May 30, 2013

While Oklahomans continue to recover from last week's tornadoes, a new study shows a majority of people support spending on natural disasters without compensating for the cash by cutting other areas.

One of the first reporters on the scene May 20 after a massive tornado struck the town of Moore, Okla., didn’t mean to be there. Joe Wertz, digital reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma, was trying to get home.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

World Views: May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013

Suzette Grillot reports from Istanbul, where she speaks with University of Oklahoma economist Firat Demir about the international response to Monday's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., and political problems facing Turkey.

University of Oregon political scientist Richard Kraus joins the program for a conversation about how art and culture become a testing ground between the United States and China. He's the author of author of Pianos and Politics in China: Middle-Class Ambitions and the Struggle over Western Music.

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.

Below are the locations where Red Cross food, supplies and assistance are available. In these locations, people can find a safe refuge, food and snacks, emotional support, health care services and information about what other help is available.

What was billed as an informational meeting for teachers turned into a session of sharing and healing.

"A lot of people in this district will need grief counseling, including myself," said Susan Pierce, the superintendent of public schools in Moore, Okla.

"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."

Aftermath of a Storm

May 21, 2013

"Jessica’s father was at home when the tornado hit and hid in the bathroom. It was the only room in the house where the roof wasn't entirely ripped off, and her father survived. “It makes you feel blessed,” Ellerd said. She gestured toward the house. “This is just stuff.”

Oklahoma City Residents Asked To Conserve Water

May 21, 2013
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma City residents are being asked to help conserve water while power remains out at one of the city's main water treatment facilities.

City officials say rain and lightning during Monday night's storm delayed progress to restore power at the Draper Water Treatment Plant.

City spokeswoman Debbie Ragan says low water pressure is being reported in downtown Oklahoma City, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the state Capitol complex.

Ragan says city officials hope to have power restored by Tuesday afternoon.

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