Moore Oklahoma Destroyed by Tornado

It’s almost 6 p.m. out here in the west where I live.  I reported earlier on a mile-wide tornado that struck a suburb of Oklahoma City today.  Moore, Oklahoma was virtually destroyed.

It leveled much of the community, including two elementary schools.  Experts believe it will be classified as an “EF-5”, making it the largest and most destructive tornado in our nation’s history.  They are positive it was at least and “EF-4”.

The coroner’s office reported 37 dead a few hours ago, but the death toll is rising quickly.  In one elementary school, all children were accounted for.  But in another, at least 26 children are still missing under the rubble which was once a building full of the laughter and giggles of young children.

There is no power for miles in every direction.  Weather channel personnel on the scene said the path of the funnel cloud covered at least 3 to 4 blocks wide, and over a mile in length.  It is reported to have stayed in contact with the ground for as many as ten minutes.

James Rushing, who lives across the street from the school, heard reports of the approaching tornado and ran to the school, where his 5-year-old foster son, Aiden, attends classes. Rushing believed he would be safer there.

“About two minutes after I got there, the school started coming apart,” he said.

The students were placed in the restroom.

Douglas Sherman drove two blocks from his home to help rescue survivors.

“Just having those kids trapped in that school, that really turns the table on a lot of things,” he said.

Tiffany Thronesberry said she got an alarming call from her mother, Barbara Jarrell, after the tornado.

“I got a phone call from her screaming, ‘Help, help! I can’t breathe. My house is on top of me!'” Thronesberry said.

Thronesberry hurried to her mother’s house, where first responders had already pulled her out. Her mother was hospitalized for treatment for cuts and bruises.

This monstrous tornado attacked Moore almost two years after the one that hit Joplin, Missouri, killing 158, and injuring hundreds more.

In 1999, a wind level of 304 miles per hour was recorded in Moore, the highest on the surface of the earth ever recorded.

The destruction of Moore is so complete, that the fatality numbers may not be confirmed for days.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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