May 2013 Tornado Coverage

Deadly tornados tore through several Oklahoma communities on May 19, 20 and 31, 2013. These are the stories of natural disaster and its aftermath, and of communities healing and recovering.

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State Capitol
9:07 am
Fri May 23, 2014

House Walks Back Storm Shelter Vote, Plaza Towers Parents Take Legal Action

Wooden crosses at the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., May 28, 2013, stand in memory of the seven students were killed during a tornado May 20, 2013.
SFC Kendall James defenseimagery.mil

The Oklahoma House reversed course Thursday night and narrowly passed a plan it had earlier defeated to help school districts pay for safety upgrades such as storm shelters and safe rooms.

House members voted 51-39 last night for the plan supported by Gov. Mary Fallin. It takes a minimum of 51 votes to pass a bill in the 101-member House.

The chamber had defeated the proposal hours earlier by a bipartisan vote of 61-34. House members said that Fallin's office had urged members of the majority GOP caucus to change their no votes.

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Severe Storms
1:21 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

12 Things You May Not Know About The 2013 Moore Tornado

Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the May 20, 2013 tornado that killed 24 residents in Moore, injured hundreds, and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage.

To mark the occasion, the Norman Forecast Office of the National Weather Service put together a presentation highlighting a dozen observations from the 2013 storms in the community also hard-hit by strong, violent tornadoes in May 1999 and May 2013.

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Oklahoma News
12:26 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

SLIDESHOW: Hundreds Gather For Tornado Anniversary, Hospital Groundbreaking

The Moore Fire Department Honor Guard rings a bell to honor each of the 25 victims of the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Kate Carlton The Oklahoma Tornado Project

Local and state officials gathered Tuesday morning in Moore to honor the 24 people killed and hundreds injured May 20, 2013 when a tornado struck the city.

Gov. Mary Fallin said thousands of Oklahomans went above and beyond the call of duty last year, but singled out educators from Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools.

"Our teachers who used their own bodies as a shield, to help save children, to help protect children,” Fallin said. “Our teachers are our heroes."

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Oklahoma's Latino Community Prepares For The Next Tornado

Gloria and Francisco Sanchez stand in front of their new ranch house, still under construction a year after a tornado destroyed their last home in Moore, Okla.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 10:43 am

A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.

Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Their deaths have sparked efforts to better prepare Hispanic families for storms.

On a windy afternoon in Oklahoma City, American Red Cross volunteer Ivelisse Cruz hands out stickers to families at the Children's Day Festival.

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Oklahoma News
10:33 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Energy Giant's Gift To Help Tornado-Damaged City Park In Moore

The Little River Park in Moore has been cleared for rebuilding after sustaining heavy damage in the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Kate Carlton Oklahoma Tornado Project

Devon Energy announced a $200,000 gift Tuesday to help the City of Moore rebuild the Little River Park that was damaged by the May 20, 2013 tornado.

Reconstruction of the park along Southwest Fourth Street just west of Telephone Road will also be funded by the PATH 2022 master plan's dedicated sales tax.

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It's All Politics
8:53 am
Thu May 8, 2014

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

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Claimed home was primary residence
6:17 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Defrauding FEMA May Cost Seven Times The Amount Taken

Credit Rob "Berto" Bennett / Flickr.com

 A Mannford woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to committing fraud in order to receive more than $31,000 in federal disaster payments.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Kerry Lynn Rowell pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. Rowell admitted receiving about $31,400 from the Federal Emergency Disaster Agency in money that was available to victims of wildfires in the Mannford area in 2013.

Rowell's attorney declined comment on the case.

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Shots - Health News
11:51 am
Tue April 29, 2014

To Survive A Tornado, First Run To Shelter, Then Grab A Helmet

Tornadoes killed at least 17 people on Sunday and Monday. But some managed to stay safe in underground shelters like the one at right in Vilonia, Ark.
Karen E. Segrave AP

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Deadly tornadoes have wreaked havoc in the South, leveling homes and claiming at least 28 lives in the past three days. And meteorologists say the threat of more tornadoes won't ease up till Wednesday.

Getting to a safe place is the best thing that people can do to protect themselves and their families. That can mean a specially constructed concrete safe room, a basement, or just a ditch if you're caught outdoors.

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