Fire chief says search almost complete in Oklahoma; at least 24 killed (+videos)

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  • OKWalker Duncan, OK
    May 21, 2013 10:21 p.m.

    The fears of tornadoes expressed above greatly exaggerate the actual risk.

    We have lived in Oklahoma for 10 years next week and finished raising all of our children here. Never seen a single tornado. Moreover, what most people do not realize is that Oklahoma is far safer than anywhere near the East or Gulf coast, or in the earthquake regions of California. Why? Simple. Oklahoma has the most accurate and widely available weather information of anywhere in the country. All media in Oklahoma provide minute to minute coverage of storm tracks, to include the exact time a significant storm will approach a specific intersection. Moreover, every neighborhood has a system of obnoxious warning sirens. So there is no excuse to get caught unaware.

    Not so in hurricanes or earthquakes. Moreover, tornadoes are very precise, like destructive lasers, making them easy to avoid. The main destruction of the Moore tornado was a mile wide and maybe 5 miles long. Katrina was 120 miles long and destroyed far more than a mile inland. And in Utah, strong winds of Wasatch Valley impact far more than 5 square miles. I know. I grew up in Bountiful, terrified of wind storms.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 21, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    Yesterday the report was 51, 24 of those being children, it is sad to have any deaths, but now the report is 24 total with 9 children. There are 9 moms and dads with broken hearts today and I just can't imagine their pain, but I am also glad there were not 24 as first reported. My heart hurts for all those who lost homes and loved ones. Last month a tornado hit near our church and it is not entertainment to drive by to see the damage, it is awe of what power mother nature has and a reminder to be prepared.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 21, 2013 5:31 p.m.

    Very sorry and sad for the families who lost so much. I would never raise a family in Oklahoma - especially in the heart of 'tornado alley'. Every year tornado's burn through this region and you never know from year to year how big or how many just that there will be some. I would live in constant fear and that is no way to live.

  • tlee86 sands springs/tulsa, OK
    May 21, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Back around the turn of the century and even into the 20's and 30's and 40's, most Oklahoma schools were built with basements or tornado shelters nearby, (big cellars, that were also used as community tornado shelters). One of those grade schools that was hit in Moore, was less then 10 years old. And it had no tornado shelter. I guess it just shows that the people who lived in old times, were much smarter than people who live today. Or maybe everyone felt that protecting their children, was more important back then, than today.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 21, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    Tornado Alley - another name for most of Oklahoma and Kansas. I can't imagine living there. Every year there is the potential for a rash of killer tornado's and there is nothing a person can do about it ...other than move or live in an underground bunker. It is heart breaking to see the devastation to families and hope they get the help they need. I would REALLY have to consider moving rather than putting my family through this danger year in and year out.

  • Mike W Syracuse, UT
    May 21, 2013 11:28 a.m.


    There may be some storm chasers who could do more, but I know several personally, and I can tell you when a disaster like this strikes (I know two who were in Joplin as it happened in 2011) they stop what they're doing and dive into search and rescue as best they can (many are trained in at least some rudimentary form of medical assistance) - the guys I know who were in Joplin worked for many hours into the night trying to rescue people, and coming upon many fatalities as well. Many storm chasers also serve as storm spotters, reporting back to the NWS or news affiliates actual "eyes on the ground" proof of tornadoes that radar does not provide. The fact is too many people don't heed tornado warnings, and those "eyes on the ground" have proven to be more effective at getting people to actually take shelter instead of treating it as another false alarm.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 21, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    I'm always disappointed that, during a tornado event, there seem to be whordes of people, be they local gawkers or so called 'storm chasers' who have time and resources to dedicate to watching these things tear peoples' lives apart, sometimes at risk of their own safety. Yes, it's an awesome show, but it also borders on some creepy voyeurism kind of thing.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    @JRJ - you think all schools should have large or several pockets of deep basement with steel doors? Not sure about flooding problem but why not have basements to all schools.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    May 21, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    I am not knowledgeable about tornadoes either, but I am wondering if schools are provided with a safe room or someway to protect those inside. I also have looked for and not seen anything about early warning for the schools. Anybody with information on those kinds of things? So, so sorry about the massive damage to human life and property. Our prayers are with you and our money is coming.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    May 21, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Years ago in 1949 we lived in Northwest Arkansas and was hit by a tornado during the night, It was scarry, fortuntely we were all safe. However, back in those days, when a storm was possible, people had storm cellars to go to, and the slightest warning of a storm everyone went to their storm cellar. Where are the storm cellars today. My heart goes out to those who lost a loved one, or were injured, and had their homes demolished.

  • peter Alpine, UT
    May 21, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    The Drudge reported 91 dead as of this morning.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    May 20, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    I think there ought to be a law against residing in trailer homes in this part of the country. And with that thought I also offer my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to those who lost loved ones.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 20, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    The thing that really set this tornado apart was that they put out a "tornado emergency" not a warning or watch, this is the first my husband had ever heard that, and he has lived in MO all his life. With the emergency warning, they told the people they had to get down in a basement and have a helmet to protect their heads. Fox news stated that it was 1.5 miles across and what made this so bad, it stayed on the ground for 40 minutes and went slow. My heart goes out to these people and so tragic to have 24 of the deaths be from the elementary school.

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    May 20, 2013 8:26 p.m.

    Dale Jones, spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the severe weather. All missionaries have been accounted for and will continue to take appropriate safety precautions."

    does anyone know if the LDS Church is sending any temporal help to Oklahoma?

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    May 20, 2013 7:44 p.m.

    Video - couldn't tell if that was a twister but seeing dust on each sides. I remember ksl weather guy saying the word "cell" is not good. Was that the cell? You can tell I am not knowledgeable on weather. At first thought we heard 1 mile wide but this article said half mile wide which was it? But still half or a mile is very dangeous.