The Woodward News

Local News

May 21, 2013

Fire chief says search almost complete in Oklahoma

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. —

Obama spoke following a meeting with his disaster-response team, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and top White House officials.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., forecast more stormy weather Tuesday in parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, including the Moore area.

Monday's tornado loosely followed the path of a killer twister that slammed the region with 300 mph winds in May 1999. It was the fourth tornado to hit Moore since 1998.

The 1999 storm damaged 600 homes and about 100 businesses. Two or three schools were also hit, but "the kids were out of school, so there were no concerns," recalled City Manager Steve Eddy.

At the time of Monday's storm, the City Council was meeting. Local leaders watched the twister approaching on television before taking shelter in the bathroom.

"We blew our sirens probably five or six times," Eddy said. "We knew it was going to be significant, and there were a lot of curse words flying."

Monday's twister also came almost exactly two years after an enormous tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, Mo., killing 158 people and injuring hundreds more.

That May 22, 2011, tornado was the deadliest in the United States since modern tornado record keeping began in 1950, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Before Joplin, the deadliest modern tornado was June 1953 in Flint, Mich., when 116 people died.

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