According to The New York Times, a tornado described by the National Weather Service as “large and deadly” touched down south of Oklahoma City Monday afternoon in the suburb of Moore, causing widespread destruction officials said.
President Obama has been in touch with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and alerted her that he’s directed the government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide any assistance she needs. FEMA has sent a special team to Oklahoma’s emergency operations center to help out and dispatch resources.
Obama also let Fallin know that she was to contact him directly if the federal government can provide additional help. The White House says Obama’s homeland security team is keeping him updated on the situation.
Two elementary schools were badly damaged, Plaza Towers Elementary School and Briarwood Elementary School, according to reports from KFOR-TV. (Who is streaming live coverage online from Moore.)
Lance West, a reporter and anchor for KFOR-TV, was tasked with giving the gut wrenching news to the audience that the search at Plaza Towers Elementary School, had changed from a “Search And Rescue” to a “Recovery Search” as word officially came down that they believed they had located the 24 children Kindergarden through 3rd graders, and that they feared all had perished. Lance West was understandably overcome with the news and had a hard time trying to deliver it live on air.
Helicopter pilots from KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City flew over and filmed the horrific destruction.
See the damage below.
NBC News gave further details on what was happening on the ground. Check their report out in the video below.
MSNBC is reporting that the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner is now saying there are 51 confirmed deaths thus far, but they are expecting that number to rise drastically as the severity of the storm simply made it impossible for some to survive.
MSNBC is also calling this the worst Tornado in United States history.
Meteorologist in Oklahoma City, knew that most people in the local area don’t have storm shelters or basements in their homes. They tried to be pro-active and told residents to “GET IN THEIR CARS AND DRIVE AWAY FROM MOORE!”
This is unheard of, as most TV weathermen always say go to an interior room and stay away from the windows. They say if you are in your car to get out of your car and lie in a shallow ditch. So, to hear that residents were told to run from the storm, shows just how worried the weather people in the area were that fatalities were going to me enormous.
Stories are still pouring in, and The Urban Daily will continue to update this story as information is available.
Our thoughts go out to the people of Oklahoma tonight as well as with those who will still have to deal with violent weather this evening.
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