Thoughts and prayers are with the people in OKC right now. Saw it on CNN while at the Y earlier tonight, mile wide tornado in south Oklahoma City.
We were watching the storm in the claim office. We've all seen bad storms but this is one of the worst. TWC is reporting 30 kids killed at a school
"But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."
The NBC reporter said, “I understand they are going to start pulling these little bodies out of the rubble very soon.”
I lived in Norman during the infamous May 3rd, 1999 tornados. The F5 looked like it was headed our way before it took a turn to the north and leveled Moore. At over 300 mph I believe that tornado still stands as the most powerful ever recorded.
The tornado today didn't spin as fast, but it was TWICE as wide, some saying almost two miles wide and it moved slowly, just destroying everything in it's path. Early estimates are three times the damage of 1999.
Last report was 51 confirmed dead and sadly this does not include the 20+ children they beleive are still in the rubble of the school.
All of my family and most of our good friends live on the north side of OKC and were clear of the storm, but it hit an area I frequent for work and I have many customers within a small radius of the path. It crossed over I-35 and it hit at a horrible time of day. In 99 kids were not in school at the time it hit.
Moore is a pretty densely populated suburb in between OKC and Norman. Amazingly and tragically the path of the 99 storm and the one today were very similar. Parts of Moore only recently reached what I beleive they considered 100% rebuild from that storm 14 years ago. Now, it starts all over again except this time it is worse both in terms of loss of life and physical damage.
I'm telling you, it looks like something out of WWII. I need to be down near that area tomorrow and I'm sure I'll be stunned at the scene.
Just terrible. Words can't express the sorrow felt for them right now.
I drove through there several times when I was on the road. This is absolutely devastating. It's hard to imagine a tornado that big.
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A tornado is natures blender.
Whatever one this powerful touches will disintegrate
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As tragic as an event as this was, when children are affected, well, it just breaks your heart.
Thoughts and prayers to the good people in Oklahoma.
We can share the women, we can share the wine.
From my FB:
Wanted to share some thoughts about my city and my state. None of what I'm about to say comes as a revelation or surprise; it was simply (resoundingly) reinforced this week.
One of my favorite things about this place is that Okies are people of action. No sitting around waiting for someone else to take said action. No meetings or committees required to start making decisions. Just action.
This action started Sunday after the first round of storms leveled some rural/smaller areas. And then it really kicked in about 30 minutes prior to the monster that leveled Newcastle, Moore, and parts of the south side.
Start with the meteorologists. When storms like this form; minutes matter. Minutes save lives. They started watching the cell gather steam and they immediately warned that it had powerful potential. Then, most people were given a 15-20 minute warning of what was coming and what to do. They made it very clear that this tornado was so large that it was time to run instead of cover unless you were underground.
When I saw the pile of mangled cars along I-35, I just figured most of those people died. But what we've learned is that those cars were not occupied, because in a matter of 15 minutes, the police were able to evacuate that entire stretch of the interstate and get the people to shelter. Obviously, the warnings from the meteorologists led to the police knowing where to go and how long they had to do it. Teamwork in action.
The teachers and faculty at the schools sprung into action. Taking children to the safest possible places and in many instances shielding them with their own bodies. Similar stories from the hospital where doctors and staff took care of patients before, during, and after the direct hit.
Once the tornado had passed and left it's carnage behind, first responders immediately took action. Incredible stories of heroism and bravery as people ignored their own leveled homes and rushed to check on their neighbors.
What has happened in the hours and days following this tornado is nothing short of remarkable. The organization and mobilization started within an hour of the storm passing. FB was abuzz that night with people sharing info on what was needed and it has continued throughout the week.
On Tuesday morning there were lines of cars at the TV stations waiting to donate money and supplies. They line for volunteers to help at the sites was actually TOO long---so many people streamed to assist the recovery that officials had to ask people to stay away because it was causing too much congestion.
Local business shifted gears and turned their attention to how they could aid the cause. Restaurant owners bringing food, clothing stores collecting and supplying, etc. Local radio stations allowed people to call in and spread the word on what was needed most and where. Same thing throughout social media. No council gathering required. Just go.
Some of our wealthiest and most famous citizens pledged huge sums of money and made a hands-on impact with their presence. The Thunder organization was out in force as were several members of the OKC Blazers. The University of Oklahoma also took swift action opening their dorms and cafeteria to people who lost their homes. And people were wide enough to realize that OU was going to need help, so they began to mobilize various services down in Norman.
Everything is being covered. Dozens and dozens of vets, shelters, and private citizens have taken in animals or are helping to collect supplies and try to reconnect people with their pets. There is a van collecting photos in the debris in hopes that people will be able to recover some of their most precious personal items.
We heard last night that some of the rural areas needed more help and supplies. I didn't know where Carney was before today, but we loaded up and headed that way---when we got there it was clear the message had been received. The local church was collecting all variety of items with the help of volunteers. Their shelves were filling up. The ladies working the supply line were courteous and grateful, but also all business. Just getting it done.
Fund raisers have already spring up. Some events have already taken place --we're talking 72 hours after the storm. Amazing. It appears Okies have taken "love thy neighbor" to heart.
People across all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds have acted with urgency and compassion. They have also acted with extreme efficiency which is invaluable in this type of situation.
Society functions at it's highest and most heartwarming level when people choose to take care of each other. I am not diminishing the contributions of FEMA, the Red Cross, the Guard, etc. All of those organizations are playing a vital role and are needed. But there is more of US than there is of them; and I am so proud of my city and state for recognizing that.
We lost 24 people. Each one is a tragedy; especially the children. And if you knew or loved any of those people what I am about to say will ring hollow; but I find the 24 number shockingly low based on the devastation that storm caused. One scientist said the power from the storm surpassed that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. My heart breaks for the 24 and their loved ones. One is too many for certain. But the fact that there weren't many, many more is miraculous.
You have 15 minutes to tell the entire city what to do: Go. You have 15 minutes to get everyone off the interstate: Go. You have 5 minutes to get an entire school to safety: Go. People need to be rescued now: Go. People need food and water: Go. We need the animals off the streets: Go. Go, go, go.
I'm a long time reader of RedsZone, but very rarely post. The Air Force sent me to Oklahoma after graduation from Elder in 1973 and I have been living here since.
My house was in direct line with the May 3rd 1999 tornado but turned just south. I remember getting back to it about 45 minutes after that tornado and still had hail the size of silver dollars in the yard....But the house was intact except for the new roof I had to put on.
Now I live in Moore, Oklahoma, and again my house was directly in the path of an F-5. I was at work, sitting in a building without power.....My wife called my cell from her workplace to say that the kids, who also live in Moore, had left and were safe. She was watching TV and also said we no longer had a home. My mind was numb as I finally made it back; but I was surprised to see my home was still standing. Apparently the tornado decreased in size as it was moving east from 1 mile to 1/2 mile wide. That is the only thing that saved my home. I can see the debris field from my back yard.
My youngest daughter was not so lucky.....Her home wasn't flattened but is not liveable. But my family is safe.
This is a quick look at my experience. The real reason I wanted to post is to thank Edskin for his very well written and spot on snapshot of what is happening here in Oklahoma. The response is simply amazing.....But I saw the same thing in '99; and earlier in '93 while I was on a business trip to Sacramento during the San Francisco earthquake. And I truly believe that, while there is an Oklahoma Standard, the same things happened, people reaching out to help, after the Joplin tornado, Sandy, Katrina and wherever there are disasters throughout the world. Every day my faith in the human race takes a beating by constant reports of depravity.....But is restored during times of emergency as I see how people respond to those in need.
Again, thanks Edskin. And to all throughout the country, be safe and thank you for your support.
"Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons.....for thou art crunchy and tasty with ketchup!"....Dragon Author Unknown
"Never laugh at live dragons!"....Bilbo Baggins
"When things are blackest, I just tell myself 'cheer up, things could get worse!' And sure enough, they get worse!".....The Great Skeeve
I'd say we had round 2 tonight, but it's more like round 22.
Huge storm, multiple tornadoes. At this point I don't think they have begun to assess damage yet... Much harder to do in the dark of course. They are reporting at least two deaths--- tragically, a mother and baby. This one was harder for the trackers to physically see, but was huge. Will certainly know more in the morning.
Personally, this one hit closer to home... At one point we seriously thought about leaving the house--- glad we didn't because I would have gone in the wrong direction. Luckily for us, it tracked south and we never had to hunker down-- we were all set to do so though.
The past 2 weeks have been insane.
It seems like that "system" has just hung over the plains for nearly 2 weeks now. I've never seen anything like it. Those folks' nerves must be shot by now with countless tornado watches and warnings
I did see a report that there was another tornado in Moore tonight, but all that's been confirmed was that the Red Cross has said they were safe though they know there has been some damage.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda
A Holiday Inn Express was hit earlier this evening in Earth City MO--near Lambert Airport. I don't think there were any deaths, but the hotel has damage, and several houses in a nearby subdivision were flattened.
The second time was tonight-- at one point they had the track on line with our house. We had the closet cleaned out, helmets ready for the kids, etc. Again, we got lucky and this time went south.
Doesn't sound like these tornadoes were anywhere close to as deadly or damaging as the ones 11 days ago, but they won't know for sure until morning. Having said that, you need to check out what happened to the Weather Channel vehicle tonight...wow.
The big problem is that it has not stopped pouring....last I heard they were saying 8-12 inches and it keeps coming...massive flooding all over. Over 75.000 customers without power. A total and complete mess.