The tornado touched down at about 2:53 p.m. CDT Monday in Moore, between Norman and Oklahoma City. Entire neighborhoods were leveled, according to local police.Early morning Tuesday, media reports indicate 51 fatalities have been confirmed. More are expected.
Power lines were reported down on Santa Fe Road near the Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Okla. It was reported that the elementary school had a large gas leak. Emergency crews experienced difficulty reaching the school due to large amounts of debris in the road.
Police reported that children were trapped under debris at the school. Later, police requested all available personnel report to help rescue the children from the debris. Children were reported to be lost and wandering in groups as parents searched the area.
Children at the Wellston Elementary School in Wellston, Okla., and Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., were also reported to be trapped under debris.
Included in the death total are 20 children who were buried under debris when the roof of their school was torn off.
Monster Tornadoes in Oklahoma
[Previous 5/20/13 post]
(Moore, Oklahoma) The tornado outbreak reportedly hit the ground about 4PM CDT. Monitoring the web and media, four fatalities, including a mother and baby, have been reported thus far. Seeing pictures of the devastation, I expect many more.
A monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.[…]Winds are estimated to have exceeded 190 MPH. A search for survivors is in progress.
Block after block of the community lay in ruins, with heaps of debris piled up where homes used to be. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside.
Volunteers and first responders were searching through debris looking for survivors. Television footage showed first-responders picking through rubble and twisted metal.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk in the aftermath of the system.
The storm seemed to blow neighborhoods apart instantly, scattering shards of wood and pieces of insulation across the scarred landscape.