Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oklahoma Tornadoes

We knew there would be days like this when we sent Elliot off to Oklahoma.  Days of worry about his safety, frantically hitting the refresh button to get the latest updates on the internet, listening to the local emergency weather radio channel, watching for news on CNN/Fox/msnbc.  It has definitely not been a happy day.  But as of late Tuesday evening, the storm systems have moved to the east and Elliot's immediate area does not appear to have been impacted by the worst of the weather, although there was one tornado near Washington that was too close for comfort.  Sadly, there were many parts of Oklahoma that were greatly impacted by tornadoes and other severe weather.  The news reports are frightening.  According to the most recent update from The Oklahoman:
At least five people were killed and dozens more injured after multiple tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma on Tuesday, including a massive twister that left a trail of damage 50 miles long.
Four of the deaths were in Canadian County, said Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner. A fifth person died in Chickasha when a tornado hit a mobile home park, fire Capt. Chris Calhoun said. An Edmond woman also died in a car wreck as she rushed home to seek shelter from the storms, authorities said.
Motorists seem to have borne the worst of the impacts:
At least three of the fatalities in Canadian County were on Interstate 40 near mile marker 113 where cars were blown off the highway, authorities said.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said troopers still were working to identify the victims late Tuesday. He said some of the victims were found 300 to 400 yards from abandoned vehicles.
Four cars on I-40 were torn apart by the twister, and the highway was littered with car parts. A tractor-trailer also was severely damaged, but the driver survived.
The most destructive tornado struck in the vicinity of El Reno, Oklahoma:
Much of the damage Tuesday came from one large tornado that touched down north of Lookeba in Caddo County and moved northeast into Canadian County, where it killed people on I-40 and destroyed homes and businesses west and north of El Reno.
The twister destroyed more homes in the Piedmont area and caused serious injuries before it moved into southeastern Kingfisher County, damaging homes south of Cashion, and continued into Logan County, causing more damage. The storm continued to cause damage into Payne County near Stillwater.
The video footage is powerful:

The Oklahoman has posted a series of photos, some of which you can see after the jump.

We'll look forward to hearing from Elliot next Monday but we're confident he's fine.

No comments:

Post a Comment