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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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

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 6:03 pm

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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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Killer Tornadoes Rip Through Arkansas, Oklahoma

Travel trailers and motor homes were piled on top of each other at Mayflower RV in Mayflower, Ark., on Sunday after tornadoes carved through the central and southern U.S.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 12:55 pm

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Emergency officials were searching Monday for survivors after tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma overnight, killing at least 14 people and leveling entire neighborhoods.

"We don't have a count on injuries or missing. We're trying to get a handle on the missing part," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said at a news conference Monday. "Just looking at the damage, this may be one of the strongest we have seen."

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Severe Storms
6:05 am
Mon April 28, 2014

One Killed, More Injured During Sunday Tornado Outbreak In Northeast Oklahoma

A house destroyed by the Sunday, April 27 tornado that devastated Quapaw, Oklahoma.
Kurt Gwartney Eastern Oklahoma Region - American Red Cross

Updated at 10:58 a.m. with the name of the victim, and declaration of a state of emergency

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for Ottawa County following a tornado that struck Quapaw that destroyed the fire station and at least five businesses and other structures. Damage assessments continue Monday.

Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions to deliver materials and supplies to needed jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance.

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Severe Storms
11:53 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Large Hail, Damaging Winds Could Move Through Oklahoma Saturday And Sunday

Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says it’s starting to get a better idea of the timing of severe storms expected to hit the state Saturday and Sunday.

Thunderstorms will start to develop late afternoon and early evening Saturday in far southwestern Oklahoma, moving northeast overnight into Sunday.

Large, damaging hail and damaging winds are the primary concern, but tornadoes are possible.

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Storm Preparedness
9:12 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Scientists, City Officials Say Moore's Warren Theatre Not A Severe Weather Destination

The Warren Theatre in Moore in the days after the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Jamin Yeager Aerial Oklahoma

As the state prepares for another round of severe weather Saturday, city officials in Moore are worried about residents taking shelter in a local movie theater that held up well during the May 20, 2013 tornado.

“People think that the Warren Theatre is magic,” said National Severe Storms Laboratory senior scientist Harold Brooks. “The Warren Theatre was basically not hit by the tornado. It survived [as well as] it did because it didn't get hit by the tornado.”

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