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
12:18 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Lawmakers Honor Oklahoma National Guard Soldier Paralyzed During May Tornado

Gov. Mary Fallin State lawmakers honor Oklahoma National Guard Sgt. E. H. Pittman for his actions during the Moore tornado last May during a Tuesday ceremony at the state Capitol.
Credit Gov. Mary Fallin / Facebook

The Oklahoma Legislature has honored a soldier with the 45th Infantry Brigade who was seriously injured while trying to protect others when a massive tornado struck Moore in May.

Sgt. E.H. Pittman was honored with the Oklahoma Star of Valor Tuesday during a joint session of the Legislature to honor members of the Oklahoma National Guard.

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Double Invoicing may bring criminal charges
6:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

State Audits Reveal FEMA Ripped Off

Credit Jason Scragz / Flickr.com

Two state audits say that one commissioner's district in Rogers County over billed the Federal Emergency Management Agency by $250,000 and submitted a false invoice for $36,000.

State Auditor Gary Jones said Thursday that the reports would be forwarded to the local district attorney and to Attorney General Scott Pruitt for consideration of possible criminal charges.

The Tulsa World reports the audits cover spending in two fiscal years, ending June 30, 2012. The documents outlined 12 "items of interest" that involve $5.5 million spent in a FEMA project.

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Severe Storms
9:18 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Severe Storms Forecast For Oklahoma Tuesday

A few severe thunderstorms are possible mainly between 4-10 p.m. Tuesday. Very large hail will be the main hazard, though damaging winds and tornadoes may also occur.
Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Oklahomans are facing their first significant risk for tornadoes of the spring storm season. The National Weather Service says the potential for severe thunderstorms increases Tuesday afternoon. If storms develop they are likely to be severe.

While the storms will be fairly isolated, forecasters say conditions for severe weather will become more favorable through the day. What the weather service calls “significant severe storms” are possible mainly between 4-10 p.m.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
11:15 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Six Ways To Prepare For Oklahoma’s Tornado Season

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s little doubt Oklahomans will be more sensitive and more concerned than usual as the spring storm season approaches after the devastating events of May 2013. Dozens of people died as three violent tornadoes tore across Pottawatomie, Canadian and Cleveland counties within a two-week span.

Since September, KGOU has been working to prepare for severe weather in 2014 with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. On March 12, we hosted a panel discussion about tornado preparedness and storm safety at the Moore Public Library, just a few hundred yards from where the May 20 twister crossed Interstate 35.

We learned six things you need to know to prepare for the 2014 tornado season:

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May 2013 Tornado Outbreak
2:14 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NWS Report Suggests A Plan For Multiple Severe Weather Events

The path of the May 31, 2013 El Reno tornado.
Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service issued a report Friday examining last May's tornados in Oklahoma. The assessment encourages the Norman Forecast Office to develop a plan for more than one severe weather event at a time.

On May 31, eight people died in the El Reno tornado while 13 died from flash flooding that followed heavy rain. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kenneth Harding says each element of a multiple warning system should be weighted based upon its urgency and severity.

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Tornado
8:31 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Moore Approves Tornado Resistant Building Codes

New homes in Moore, Okla. should be able to withstand winds up to 135 miles per hour if built to new building codes passed Monday.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The City of Moore is adopting stricter building codes intended to reduce the damage from high winds. The new regulations should strengthen homes against tornado damage.

The codes approved by the Moore City Council Monday would require hurricane straps that connect the roof of a home to the wall studs. The rules also add anchors that tie the frame to the foundation, continuous plywood bracing and garage doors built to withstand high winds.

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