severe weather

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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1:14 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

OU Meteorology Professor On His Friend Tim Samaras

Lead in text: 
University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Howard Bluestein reflects on his friend Tim Samaras, who died Friday in El Reno.
Another round of tornadoes tore through Oklahoma on Friday night. While all of those storm videos popping up on YouTube and television are incredible to watch, they're also obviously very dangerous to film. Thirteen people died in Friday's tornadoes, including veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young.
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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Weather and Climate
2:52 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

American Tornado Preparedness Has History Of 'Bad Advice'

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

Transcript

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.

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8:36 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Survey: No Cuts Needed To Offset Disaster Spending

Lead in text: 
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.
Released: May 29, 2013 High Interest in Oklahoma Tornado Overview As Oklahoma recovers from severe damage caused by last week's tornado, a majority of Americans (59%) say federal spending in response to natural disasters is emergency aid that does not need to be offset by cuts to other programs, while
11:56 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Unscathed By Tornado, Oklahoma Pubcasters Band Together To Report, Assist With Relief

Lead in text: 
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.
Wertz, working out of KGOU-FM on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and other station employees heeded storm warnings May 20 by leaving work early. Wertz lives in Oklahoma City about 20 miles north of Norman, and hoped to beat the storm home.

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