Oh, Oklahoma! Open Thread…Posted: May 20, 2013
A child was pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on Monday.
Tonight there is devastation in Oklahoma.
A view of the tornado damage today in Moore, Okla., from KFOR Channel 4 in Oklahoma City. (KFOR Channel 4 photo)
Earlier today, my friend who lives out in OKC sent me a text…it was around 3:45pm est…it said,
Sirens going off. In the shelter.
I did not hear from her until just before 6pm est, she and her daughter and parents were fine. She said the family’s homes were damaged, and she did not know to what extent yet…and the family members who have checked in have been ok…so far. That “so far” is how she ended her text message. Chilling words….
A huge tornado, perhaps a mile wide, tore through towns near Oklahoma City on Monday, flattening homes and businesses, starting fires and sending residents scrambling to find friends and neighbors possibly buried in rubble.
As reports of injuries began coming in, the authorities said some people were trapped and rescue workers were still making their way to the severely damaged suburb of Moore.
Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department said that at least one school in Moore suffered “severe damage,” but he had no information about possible injuries. “Numerous neighborhoods completely leveled,” he said by telephone. “Neighborhoods just wiped clean.”
Sergeant Knight said debris and damage to roadways along with heavy traffic were hindering emergency responders racing to the affected areas.
A spokeswoman in the mayor’s office in Moore said that there was no information on casualties, and that emergency workers were struggling to assess the damage.
“Please send us your prayers,” she said.
A massive, mile-wide tornado with winds up to 200 mph spent 40 minutes on the ground as it devastated homes, schools and businesses across southern Oklahoma City and its suburbs Monday afternoon.
The state medical examiner confirmed at least 37 deaths and said the toll was expected to rise.
Catastrophic damage was reported in Moore, where two elementary schools were destroyed, including one that took a direct hit. Several children were pulled alive from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary, but there were no immediate reports of rescues or casualties at Briarwood Elementary.
Three hospitals reported treating at least 120 injured, including some children pulled from the Plaza Towers school.
More than 60 patients were treated for tornado injuries at Norman Regional Medical Center.
I have not heard from my friend since, I will let you all know more when I do…
Below are some links to articles with more information:
Video at that link.
This is an open thread.