Categorized | National

Violent Tornado Rips Through Oklahoma

 

Death Toll Expected to Climb

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The vicious tornado that ripped across Moore, Oklahoma yesterday killed at least 24 people — with more
bodies expected
to arrive at the Oklahoma state medical
examiner’s office, Coroner
Amy Elliott said today.  Roughly
nine of the bodies are children.

Even for a city toughened by massive tornadoes, Moore has never seen this kind of devastation.

Despite the woeful news, rescue workers clung to the hope of finding more survivors and scoured mountains of rubble where houses and schools once stood.

tornado1Many killed were children, including seven from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore — the site of a frantic search this morning.  The school was in the direct path of the storm’s fury.  About 75 students and staff members were hunkered down in Plaza Towers when the tornado struck.

At one point, an estimated 24 children were missing from the school, but some later turned up at nearby churches.  It’s unclear how many may still be trapped in the wreckage, and how many are dead or alive.

Parents of survivors couldn’t wrap their minds around the tragedy.  A father of a third-grader still missing sat quietly on a stool outside.  Tears cascaded from his face as he waited for any news.

 “I’m speechless.  How did this happen?  Why did this happen?”  he asked.  “How do we explain this to the kids? … In an instant, everything’s gone.”

Across town, Moore Medical Center also succumbed to the tornado.  Some doctors had to jump into a freezer to survive.

tornado2“Our hospital has been devastated,” Mayor Glenn Lewis said.  “We had a two-story hospital, now we have a one.  And it’s not occupiable.”  As a result, 145 of the injured were rushed to three other area hospitals.

That number includes 45 children taken to the children’s hospital at Oklahoma University Medical Center, Dr. Roxie Albrecht said.  Injuries ranged from minor to severe, including impalement and crushing injuries.

The town of Moore is far too familiar with the extent of nature’s wrath.  The Oklahoma City suburb recovered from a fierce 1999 twister that killed six people there and dozens in the area.  When that tornado struck, it had the strongest wind speed in history, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Tom Lamb said.  Another tornado tore through Moore in 2003.

This time, the two-mile-wide twister stayed on the ground for a full 40 minutes, carving a 22-mile path where thousands of residents live.  The devastation and swath of destruction is mind boggling.  The death toll has far surpassed anything the city has seen from a tornado — and is expected to climb.

The tornado first touched down in Newcastle, Oklahoma, before ripping into neighboring Moore. An early estimate rated the tornado as an EF4, meaning it had winds between 166 and 200 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

tornado3After the ear-shattering howl subsided, survivors along the miles of destruction emerged from shelters to see an apocalyptic vision.  Homes and other buildings were shredded to pieces.  Remnants of mangled cars were piled on top of each other.  What was once a parking lot now looked like a junkyard.

“People are wandering around like zombies,” reporter Scott Hines said.  “It’s like they’re not realizing how to process what had just happened.”

Hines said rescuers found a 7-month-old baby and its mother hiding in a giant freezer.  But they didn’t survive.

The tornado sucked up debris along its path and swirled it several miles into the sky, landing up to 250 miles away.  Resident Lando Hite, shirtless and spattered in mud, described how the storm pummeled the Orr Family Farm in Moore, which had about 80 horses before the storm hit.

“It was just like the movie ‘Twister,’ ” Hite told reporters. “There were horses and stuff flying around everywhere.”

“The structures that were just demolished were picked up by the twister here and just jettisoned up into the atmosphere, 20,000 feet,” reporting meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said.

James Dickens, a gas-and-oil pipeline worker, grabbed a hard hat and joined rescuers at Plaza Towers Elementary School.  “I felt it was my duty to come help,” he said Tuesday after a long night of searching.  “As a father, it’s humbling. It’s heartbreaking to know that we’ve still got kids over there that’s possibly alive, but we don’t know,” he said.

tornado5But the storm system that spawned Monday’s tornado and several other twisters Sunday isn’t over yet.

Southwest Arkansas and northeast Texas, including Dallas, are under the gun for severe weather today.  Those areas could see large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.  A broader swath of the United States, from Texas to Indiana and up to Michigan, could see severe thunderstorms.

“We could have a round 3 coming,” meteorologist Cabrera said.

2 Responses to “Violent Tornado Rips Through Oklahoma”

  1. I am trying to find out who is accepting cards to deliver cards to families of victims n tornado ravaged oklahoma city on june 30,2013

  2. I would truly like to mail cards to tornado victims that lost people. Plz mesg or let me know someway if there is somone accepting cards to get cards to the tornado victims

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Department of Good Stuff
    […]
  • Why people hate the federal government
    Take Part - Out with the cupcakes, in with the fruit cups.At least that’s what the USDA envisioned when it came up with the “Smart Snacks in School” standards as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The guidelines—which set rules for treats sold on K–12 campuses outside the cafeteria during school hours, or “competitive foods”—went into effect […]
  • Why you shouldn't vote for a corporate executive
    Sam Smith - There is a widespread myth that corporate executives are exquisitely prepared to run other things, like community organizations, states or our nation.  This is a myth broadly enabled by large corporate media but it makes little sense. Here's why:Corporate executives can fire people, move them to new jobs, promote or demote them. You can […]
  • Preserving a Jewish state or the Jewish soul?
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesSam Smith, 2006 - Vigdor Lieberman that nasty member of the Israel cabinet, wants to get rid of the Arabs so his country can remain a Jewish state. It's not a new idea; shoving Arabs around helped Israel get started. And it didn't work all that well. Fifty years of misery as the Israelis and the Arabs compet […]
  • Mid and late career teachers underpaid
    Center for American Progress: Mid- and late-career teacher base salaries are painfully low in many states. In Colorado, teachers with a graduate degree and 10 years of experience make less than a trucker in the state. In Oklahoma, teachers with 15 years of experience and a master’s degree make less than sheet metal workers. And teachers in Georgia with 10 ye […]
  • Photo of the day
    L'Osservatore Romano photo of Pope having lunch with Vatican workers […]
  • Stupid Washington Post tricks
    James Zogby, Arab American Institute - As the Israeli ground offensive was beginning, the [Washington] Post featured a front page headline, in large type, reading "Two Israelis Killed in Gaza Clash." In smaller type there was a subhead, "Death toll tops 330 as Hamas militants step up attacks." The story began, "Hamas militants intens […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    Gaza death toll now over 1,000Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. […]
  • 2500 Ground Zero responders have come down with cancer
    NY Post - More than 2,500 Ground Zero rescuers and responders have come down with cancer, and a growing number are seeking compensation for their illnesses, The Post has learned.The grim toll has skyrocketed from the 1,140 cancer cases reported last year.In its latest tally, the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital counts 1,655 responder […]
  • Millenials down on marriage
    Alternet - | In a new Pew poll, researchers asked people of all ages how they felt about marriage and having kids. One question asked if society is better off if people made these goals a priority.....For respondents over 65, a strong 61 percent said yes, it’s in society’s best interest to prioritize marriage and kids. But that number gradually declined for […]
  • A bipartisan cause: universal income
    David Atkins, Washington Monthly -  One of the beautiful things about universal basic income: it has legitimate cross-partisan appeal, even if it seems wacky at first glance to centrists (who are often the very last people to recognize a good policy idea when they see one.)To a conservative, a direct money grant is an opportunity to shed cumbersome governmen […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    Unfortunately, complex failing systems have little capacity to save themselves. In part this is because the solutions come from the same source as the problem. The public rarely questions the common provenance; official Washington and the media honor it. Even a failure as miserable as that of Vietnam had little effect on the careers of its major protagonists […]
  • Word
    I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations -- James Madison […]
  • Mid East paradigms
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesIsrael is a state like all the rest. AIPAC is just another political group like the National Rifle Association. It is not a religion but one more Washington lobby corrupting the political process and making American voters less powerful. The policy of the Israeli government is clearly distinguishable from the theology […]
  • Bringing politics home
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesSam Smith[From Shadows of Hope, 1994]In 1816, Columbus, Ohio, had one city councilmember for every hundred residents. By 1840 there was one for every thousand residents. By 1872 the figure had dwindled to one to every five thousand. By 1974, there was one councilmember for every 55,000 people.The first US congressiona […]