Monday, May 20, 2013

Monster Tornado Tears Through Oklahoma

The Weather Channel said the twister was a mile wide at its base, and a reporter for KFOR said it kicked up a cloud of debris perhaps two miles wide. The National Weather Service initially classified the storm as an EF4, the second-strongest type, with winds of 166 to 200 mph. (update, after level test this might be an F5 with winds up to 300 mph.)  The tornado struck at mid-afternoon and tore a 20-mile path, it was on the ground for 40 minutes.  Much of the storm’s rampage was captured on live television, perhaps alerting people in its path to seek shelter.  Grasping for comparisons, some people said it looked like Joplin, the Missouri town virtually wiped off the map two years ago when a tornado an EF5  blew through and killed 158 people. 

“The whole city looks like a debris field,” said Mayor Glenn Lewis of the city of Moore, which appeared to be the hardest hit. “It seems that our worst fears have happened today,” said Bill Bunting, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, Okla.

Joplin city officials said Monday they were sending a team of 10 officers and three firefights to Moore to help. “Giving back in whatever way we can,” the mayor said on Twitter. For those living in Oklahoma, the ferocity was reminiscent of May 3, 1999, when a tornado registered wind of more than 300 mph, left 46 dead and damaged or destroyed more than 8,000 homes.  Tens of millions of people from Texas to the Great Lakes an area covering 55 million people  had been warned to brace for more severe weather Monday.

 Disaster relief Fund

Weather Underground



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