Parents in a suburban Oklahoma City school district received a text message as an ominous tornado approached. Their children were being held at school until the storm passed or their parents picked them up.
Suddenly, parents had a gut-wrenching choice. Trust the safety of the school? Or drive frantically ahead of a massive tornado and attempt to take their children home?
The news Wednesday from Moore, Okla., much of which was destroyed by a massive tornado Monday, begins with word that officials doubt they will find any more survivors or bodies under the hundreds of homes, businesses and other buildings that were leveled.
Moore Fire Chief Gary Bird put it this way Tuesday: After searches of all damaged buildings, "I'm 98 percent sure we're good."
Moore Police struggle to find addresses in the areas blasted by the tornado. Moore Police Department’s Sergeant Jeremy Lewis says it is difficult locating streets or reference markers because it has all been destroyed.
“A lot of our shelters are registered, but even with that we can’t located the addresses. We don’t even know what block we’re on, so it’s difficult,” says Lewis. “There are no streets anymore. Even guys that have worked here 20 years are having trouble finding any kind of reference point to know what street we’re at.”
Safety in schools during a natural disaster is a top priority, and numerous school facilities were damaged or destroyed during the recent tornado in Moore. Officials in Tulsa Public Schools understand the concern over safety.
“We have constant conversations with the principals, we do training for staff on different kinds of disasters,” says Tulsa Public Schools Emergency Manager Bob Roberts.
Roberts says TPS will use any information about what happened in Moore to inform its own emergency plans.
Top lawmakers and officials say the federal government has plenty of money on hand to pay for recovery efforts in the devastating tornado that struck Oklahoma.
The government has more than $11 billion in its main disaster relief fund. Recovery costs in Moore, Okla., are expected to be a relatively small fraction of that amount. The devastating 2011 tornado that wiped out much of Joplin, Mo., use up about $750 million in federal disaster aid.
(Please note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) When we say that someone is a "tinkerer," we might be offering a word of praise...or a put-down. Today's edition of ST explores the positive definition of the term "tinkerer," as a creative inventor or innovator.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Historical Society is asking state lawmakers to postpone consideration of a museum funding bill so they can concentrate on tornado relief.
Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Historical Society, said Tuesday that a funding bill for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture should be temporarily set aside following the devastation and loss of life in Moore and other parts of central Oklahoma in Monday's tornados.