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Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

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Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Katiedot on Tue May 21 2013, 00:53

Hope everyone's ok:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22604251

A gigantic tornado has ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City, destroying a school, sparking fires and flattening homes across whole neighbourhoods.

The "mile-wide" storm came on the second day in a row that twisters hit the Midwestern state of Oklahoma.

Rescuers are searching for survivors as scores of primary school children are believed to be trapped under debris.

On Sunday, at least two people died and 21 more were injured by the tornadoes that also razed a mobile home park.

The twister struck about 15:00 local time (21:00 BST) on Monday in the area of Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of about 55,000 people just south of Oklahoma City, and remained on the ground for about 45 minutes.

Is this a particularly bad tornado season this year, or is it always like this?

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by silly girl on Tue May 21 2013, 01:03

According to reports it was a relatively quiet tornado season until this week. Something to do with a shift in weather. So horrible....

Why tornadoes seem as if they're suddenly coming one after another


By Douglas Main, LiveScience
Tornado season has been relatively quiet this year. There were only 72 tornadoes nationwide in April, 70 percent below the 10 year average, according to the Weather Channel. But within in the last week, tornado outbreaks have been erupting from North Texas to Minnesota.
Why do these tornadoes seem to be hitting all of a sudden?
An eastward advancing cold front is to blame. This pocket of cold air has run into warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. Like a wedge, the cold front has caused the warm air to rise, since it's less dense, said Jeff Weber, a scientist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

"It's kind of the perfect setup," Weber told LiveScience.
This rising warm air has created thunderstorms that have in turn spawned tornadoes, which draw their rotation from the system's abundant wind shear, which is a change in wind speed and direction with altitude. In this case, winds have blown north off the Gulf of Mexico, and interacted with currents moving east along with the cold front, Weber said. This helps create swirling gyres that can be flipped vertically and create tornadoes, he said. [Infographic: Tornado! How, When & Where Twisters Form]
This follows a relatively calm spring that saw few tornadoes, which is largely due to unusually cold temperatures throughout much of the country. The cold can in turn be blamed on the fact that the jet stream, the ribbon of wind that stretches across the Northern Hemisphere, dipped farther south than usual. This brought with it frigid Arctic air and prevented warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico from advancing northward.
Last week, with the jet stream shifting north and the atmosphere more conducive to tornado formation, an outbreak of an estimated 16 twisters erupted in North Texas on May 15. The tornadoes ranged in strength from an EF-1 in the town of Millsap that caused damage to roofs, to an EF-4 in Granbury that completely destroyed houses.
The Texas tornadoes were worsened by the fact that the jet stream dipped south during this outbreak, adding extra rotational power to the twisters, Weber said.
In the next few days, this system should soon weaken, Weber said. That's because the center of the cold front's circulation is now over Minnesota and Wisconsin, and warm air has filled the center of the country. This means there will be less interaction between masses of cold and warm air, which fuel tornadoes' destructive power, Weber said.
The Weather Channel stat comes from a tweet by meteorologist Mike Bettes. (The Weather Channel is a venture of NBCUniversal.)

http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/20/18380979-why-tornadoes-seem-as-if-theyre-suddenly-coming-one-after-another?lite

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Mazy on Tue May 21 2013, 02:25

The damage is unbelievible. a complete school was destroyed and they know that there are children traped below the rumble. There are fires everwhere. A couple of weeks ago same area & 2 dead 21 injured this one is muvh worse. God Bless

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by theminis on Tue May 21 2013, 03:05

Ive just been reading about it this morning, terrible news, 51 dead apparently, prayers to all xxx

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by theminis on Tue May 21 2013, 03:08

Im probably ignorant regarding this but isn't there some kind of warning system in place, or is that not feasible, thought I watched a documentary on it at one time.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by theminis on Tue May 21 2013, 03:10



Kind of makes you feel incredibly humble, had no idea they could get that big.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Mazy on Tue May 21 2013, 03:21

They are horrible I was 2 blocks from one in my car, when I lived in Florida. Everything got so dark all of a sudden it was very scary and that was not a big one.

According to weather conditions down there they would put out warnings for certain periods of time. They cannot tell you exactly where, then they would lift the warnings. So in essence these people had no warning. This is a very massive one.

I wouldn't be surprise if they don't bring "climate change," into the strength of it but it has been a slow torado spell. God Bless those that are gone. But even more their family and friends that have to try and pick up the pieces.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by theminis on Tue May 21 2013, 03:31

Well back in 1999 when my hubby and I were tourists in America for 4 months we had the following experiences that were tame but spooked me anyway.

Driving somewhere in Missouri an emergency broadcast comes on the radio to tell us that there is a cyclone or tornado in the vicinity and to seek shelter. We are in a corvette in the middle of nowhere madly going through our maps trying to figure out where to go, luckily it didn't come near us. Then after we left our hotel in Salt Lake city the roof of that was taken off by another natural disaster and finally driving in Florida trying to make our way down to Miami, some freak storm comes from nowhere and we literally had to seek shelter in a hotel, never seen rain or flooding like that happen so fast, impossible to see the road at all, everyone was pulling over, lots of people were very worried. Since I loved being there so much may take the kids one day back to USA but may invest in a really solid car or Hummer this time round.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by lucy on Tue May 21 2013, 04:09

Last Thurs. we had 12 tornados here in Texas, two of those were F4's. There is no where to hide when an F4 comes to your neighborhood. This spring has been mild going from the 60&70's to nearly freezing temps in a 12hr. time frame. But now spring is here with storms ,high humidity, and tornados. They almost always come at 3-7pm, right around the time children will be getting out of school,traveling on buses home, or during rush hour. Hopefully we will have a short season and this will come to an end in a few weeks. Sending out blessings to all in Oklahoma.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by noodle on Tue May 21 2013, 04:44

theminis we do have a good warning system here in Oklahoma. We had doppler radar years before anywhere else. The problem was this storm went from nothing to a tornado in less than 15 minutes. There was just no time. It has been an awful day. We have had tornados on the ground one place or another in Okla for most of the afternoon and evening. The last one just moved into Arkansas about half an hour ago.
Those poor parents waiting for news about their children. They said a little while ago they don't think they will find any more children alive in the Park Plaza Elementary school. I just can't imagine the pain those parents are feeling.
It's just so sad.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by theminis on Tue May 21 2013, 04:57

Thanks Noodle I didn't realise how the warning system works but yeah 15 minutes, wow that is not enough time to really do much except I guess get into one of those cellars if available. Those parents waiting for news, well it would be unbelievably terrible, I cant even imagine it without crying. No doubt there are plenty of good people around to try and help them cope and stay strong, those first responders and public who just rush in and do what they can always amaze me with their true heroism.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by it's me on Tue May 21 2013, 05:45

How sad
How horrible!

hope all will go fine for those involved

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Joanna on Tue May 21 2013, 10:36

It was two miles wide lasting 40 minutes I heard today. Unbelievable to those of us never having experienced one.



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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Katiedot on Tue May 21 2013, 11:57

Wow, that's incredible. We caught the tail end of cyclone mahasen last week and that was bad enough. Can't even begin to imagine being hit by a tornado.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by melbert on Tue May 21 2013, 12:13

I've been through 3 tornados (a very long time ago) and it is so scary while going through it. Afterwards going out and seeing the destruction caused is just unbelievable. My prayers during this time.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by noodle on Tue May 21 2013, 13:04

As awful as this tragedy is Oklahomans know how to take care of each other. We all know it could have just as easily been our town, been our families.The college in Norman (close by) has opened their dorms up for anyone who needs a place to stay. No charge. Police and fire depts. from all over the state have sent first responder, and search and rescue teams to help. The folks in their towns have loaded them down with bottled water, shovels, gloves etc. to take with them. Our town has already had two teams leave and more are leaving today. It's wonderful to see people helping and pulling together like this, but our hearts are just breaking for what these folks are going thru. So far those I know in the area are safe but it will be days before I know for sure about some others.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Lighterside on Tue May 21 2013, 14:17

I've lived through both serious tornadoes and earthquakes and tornadoes are the worst. Even hurricanes aren't as bad as tornadoes because the funnel cloud has such tremendous force that nothing can stand in it's way. I've seen pictures/videos of 18 wheelers picked up and tossed aside or blown around like they were leaves in the wind. And they're unpredictable. They can appear out of nowhere, when the conditions are right and you don't have sufficient time to seek shelter.

Here's the latest on the death toll and destruction of this one and you can see pictures and video at the link here:Huffington Post

By Alice Mannette Ian Simpson

MOORE, Okla., May 21 (Reuters) - Pre-dawn emergency workers searched feverishly for survivors in the rubble of homes, primary schools and an hospital in an Oklahoma City suburb ravaged by a massive Monday afternoon tornado feared to have killed up to 91 people and injured well over 200 residents

The 2-mile(3-km) wide tornado tore through town of Moore outside Oklahoma City, trapping victims beneath the rubble as one elementary school took a direct hit and another was destroyed.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE UPDATES)

Reporters were cleared back from Plaza Towers Elementary School, which sustained a direct hit Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb told CNN. But television pictures showed firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments working under bright spotlights to find survivors.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in Moore after the deadliest U.S. tornado since one killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago.

There was an outpouring of grief on Plaza Towers' Facebook page, with messages from around the country including one pleading simply: "Please find those little children."

A separate Facebook page set up to reunite people in the area hit by a tornado on Sunday with their belongings and pets also showed entries for Moore residents overnight.

Another elementary school, homes and a hospital were among the buildings leveled in Moore, leaving residents of the town of about 50,000 people stunned at the devastation and loss of life. Many residents were left without power and water.

The Oklahoma medical examiner said 20 of the 91 expected to have been killed were children. The office had already confirmed 51 dead and had been told during the night by emergency services to expect 40 more bodies found in the debris, but had not yet received them.

At least 60 of the 240 people injured were children, area hospitals said.

The National Weather Service assigned the twister a preliminary ranking of EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning the second most powerful category of tornado with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph).

Witnesses said Monday's tornado appeared more fierce than the giant twister that was among the dozens that tore up the area on May 3, 1999, killing more than 40 people and destroying thousands of homes. That tornado ranked as an EF5, meaning it had winds over 200 mph.

The 1999 event in Oklahoma ranks as the third-costliest tornado in U.S. history, having caused more than $1 billion in damage at the time, or more than $1.3 billion in today's dollars. Only the devastating Joplin and Tuscaloosa tornadoes in 2011 were more costly. Jeff Alger, 34, who works in the Kansas oil fields on a fracking crew, said his wife Sophia took their children out of school when she heard a tornado was coming and then fled Moore and watched it flatten the town from a few miles away.

"They didn't even have time to grab their shoes," said Alger, who has five children aged four to 11. The storm tore part of the roof off of his home. He was with his wife at Norman Regional Hospital to have glass and other debris removed from his wife's bare feet.

Moore was devastated with debris everywhere, street signs gone, lights out, houses destroyed and vehicles tossed about as if they were toys.

The dangerous storm system threatened several southern Plains states with more twisters. The area around Moore faces the risk of severe thunderstorms on Tuesday, which could hamper rescue efforts.


STORM ALERTS

Speaking outside Norman Regional Hospital Ninia Lay, 48, said she huddled in a closet through two storm alerts and the tornado hit on the third.

"I was hiding in the closet and I heard something like a train coming," she said under skies still flashing with lightning. The house was flattened and Lay was buried in the rubble for two hours until her husband Kevin, 50, and rescuers dug her out.

"I thank God for my cell phone, I called me husband for help."

Her daughter Catherine, seven, a first-grader at Plaza Towers Elementary School, took shelter with classmates and teachers in a bathroom when the tornado hit and destroyed the school. She escaped with scrapes and cuts.


SCHOOL DESTROYED

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center provided the town with a warning 16 minutes before the tornado touched down at 3:01 p.m. (2001 GMT), which is greater than the average eight to 10 minutes of warning, said Keli Pirtle, a spokeswoman for the center in Norman, Oklahoma.

The notice was upgraded to emergency warning with "heightened language" at 2:56 p.m., or five minutes before the tornado touched down, Pirtle said.

Television media measured the tornado at more than 2 miles (3 km) wide, with images showing entire neighborhoods flattened.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed a temporary flight restriction that allowed only relief aircraft in the area, saying it was at the request of police who needed quiet to search for buried survivors.

Oklahoma activated the National Guard, and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency activated teams to support recovery operations and coordinate responses for multiple agencies.

Briarwood Elementary School, which also stood in the storm's path, was all but destroyed. On the first floor, sections of walls had been peeled away, giving clear views into the building; while in other areas, cars hurled by the storm winds were lodged in the walls.

The number of injured as reported by several hospitals rose rapidly throughout the afternoon.

"The whole city looks like a debris field," Glenn Lewis, the mayor of Moore, told NBC.

"It looks like we have lost our hospital. I drove by there a while ago and it's pretty much destroyed," Lewis said.

The massive twister struck at the height of tornado season, and more were forecast. On Sunday, tornadoes killed two people and injured 39 in Oklahoma. (Additional reporting by Lindsay Morris, Carey Gillam, Nick Carey, Brendan O'Brien and Greg McCune; Writing by Daniel Trotta and Nick Carey; Editing by Alison Williams and W Simon)

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Atalante on Tue May 21 2013, 14:33

Those poor kids, drowned, ... wasn't there a better shelter. I mean they do live in " Tornado Alley ", ... too many male politicians there ??? Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by noodle on Tue May 21 2013, 17:13

Atalante here in Oklahoma we have ground that is almost solid rock in most places. So storm shelters are not that easy to come by. And our water table in this area is so close to the surface that storm shelters flood easily. The last few years above ground safe rooms are being sold. They are very expensive and not very big. I wish I could afford one but that not likely any time soon. The final classification for this tornado will likely be an EF5. I don't know if even an above ground safe room would survive that. The kids who drowned were in the basement of the school. That would have been considered the safe place to go. It's just a terrible tragedy for so many people. I know people who have lost their homes but everyone I know so far has not been injured and I am thankful for that.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Mazy on Tue May 21 2013, 17:47

I have been through many bad hurricanes but none of them had the kind of sustained wind that you got with these tornados. I don't even know what to say to any of you that live in that area. I know how heart breaking it must be there. When we lose childrens lives to these disasters it makes it a hundred times worse. God Bless all of you that have been touched.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Joanna on Tue May 21 2013, 18:25

It must be a nightmare for the teachers knowing what to
do for the best in that situation with such little time.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by What Would He Say on Tue May 21 2013, 20:43

Thank you Noodle...your post was so informative.
In such difficult times, this is when we see the absolute kindess and humanity of mankind....so much stronger than a tornado, we don't blow away!

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Maggy on Tue May 21 2013, 21:39

My love and prayers to all those affected.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

Post by Mazy on Sun Jun 02 2013, 02:51

God Bless OK getting hit with another tornado so soon. Prayers go out to you all.

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Re: Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City

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