I don’t even know what to say. I’ve watched the news. I’ve seen video footage. I’ve seen aerial views. I’ve seen pictures. I’m speechless. I’m overcome with emotion. To my knowledge of history, I have never seen such a terrifying twister as the one that recently wreaked havoc on Monroe Oklahoma.
Mother Nature, once again, seemed to have very little mercy on the city of Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20th. A twister that was estimated to be at least two miles wide, at one point, hovered over the town for approximately 45 minutes. Tornados don’t usually overstay their welcome, lasting only a few minutes. This one did. This tornado was rated an EF4 which translates to unfathomable winds between 166-200 mph. These are wind speeds that most of us can’t even imagine unless we’ve been in the midst of a devastating storm like this.
The United States is reported to have the highest number of tornado occurrences in the world with an average of 1,000 per year…almost always taking with it, fatalities. The rating a tornado is labeled is based on the Fujita scale. It is used to estimate the wind speed of the tornado by the damage it has caused. Weather service, a few years ago, were only able to detect the severity of a storm, like this, a couple of days out. Today, they can go as far as eight days…giving residents plenty of time gather some belongings and evacuate.
There is no running water in the city, and with the widespread loss of power, OG&E is working to restore utilities to the water treatment plant, as it is absolutely necessary. Damage was not only felt in Moore, but surrounding communities as well.
The destruction resembles a model village made of toothpicks. Yet…this is very real. The loss of life is still rising…including children and animals. Search and rescue missions have turned to recovery efforts. People and animals that are trapped are fighting for their lives. They may not have the ability or strength to yell out for help, but to just pray silently. Military personnel are using thermal imaging so that they might be able to detect any body heat under the rubble. A necessary tool in this recovery of life underneath the piles of debris.
I have done my part, in donating, and hope you will, too. A little bit goes a long way, if we all can help. The American Red Cross has several shelters open in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have been delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas. The Red Cross is also working to link survivors to loved ones in Moore, through a website called Safe and Well. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.
The majority of us aren’t even capable of feeling what this community is enduring. To not know where your house once stood, to not know where your neighbors are, to not be able to find your children, or your dog. These efforts will not be easy, with the threat of severe storms looming today; but, first responders and the community will continue digging, by hand, in hopes they find survivors. Please keep them, all, in your prayers. May many be blessed with miracles.
Written By: Sophia Perfetti