Moore, Oklahoma tornado leaves devastation

Cars lied in piles in some parts of Moore, Okla.
Cars lied in piles in some parts of Moore, Okla.


A tornado two miles wide took out everything in its path on a 20-mile rampage through Moore, Oklahoma Monday afternoon, capping a three-day outbreak of severe weather that has spawned several violent tornadoes. It’s being called one of the worst tornadoes in American history, and from what I’ve seen, that’s not hyperbole.

It’s as bad as the tornado we saw nearly two years ago in Joplin, Missouri.

Full streets of homes were wiped clean off their foundations, which is something I’ve never seen in my career with The Weather Channel. We’ve seen EF5 tornado damage from a few homes, but the sight of an entire city block wiped clean is something I’m completely foreign to. If there’s anything we can hope for, it’s that most of those people were at work in other areas when the twister swept through.

In the minutes after the damage was done, there were hardly any people walking the streets, which is rare. In smaller tornadoes, people leave their homes to survey damage and check on friends. That simply wasn’t the case after this tornado, which could mean mass casualties or, hopefully, nobody was home.

However, Plaza Towers Elementary School sustained a direct hit by the tornado, and at this writing, rescues for the kids have ended. They’re going to remove the remaining bodies, which could total two dozen. Reports stated that parents were not being allowed to search for their missing children and were being pushed further away from the school so emergency responders could listen for kids screaming for help.

So when you think your Monday has been bad, think again.

On Monday night, at least three dozen people were confirmed dead. In the aftermath of the Joplin tornado, the number remained low on Day 1 and skyrocketed the next morning. I’m not saying that is the standard for large tornadoes, but it’s the measuring stick for everything when speaking about large tornadoes in the Plains.

This will be a developing event for days, but as more weather experts show up and lend their analysis to the situation, it appears more and more likely that this will end up being one of the worst tornadoes to hit the United States in recorded history.

I ask that you keep these people, as well as the folks affected by the massive tornadoes of Sunday afternoon and evening, in your thoughts and prayers. And as always, please stay updated through coverage on The Weather Channel and weather.com.

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