The National Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, with the first tornado warning coming 16 minutes before it touched down. The tornado was up to 2 miles wide and had winds of from 166 to 200 miles per hour.
Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School were among the areas that were hardest hit.
It’s easily the worst tornado since the one that hit Joplin, Mo., in 2011. That one killed 162.
This tornado could have easily hit close to home for me.
I have a lot of family out west, and in particular in Oklahoma. In fact, my father is from western Oklahoma; my mother grew up in eastern Texas. And I have a lot of family still in the Oklahoma City area. So Monday night was stressful for a bit, until I found out that all of my relatives there were okay., although the tornado missed a couple of them by only a mile.
So many families are not nearly as lucky as mine, and they need all help that can be mustered.
As always, prayers, thoughts and good vibes are very much appreciated.
And here are some of the ways you can help the people of Moore, Okla.
Text Red Cross to 90999 to send a $10 donation.
Donate by phone: 800-725-2769.
Text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
Or send a check to: The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. Designate Oklahoma Tornado Relief on all checks.
Feed the Children:
Donate by phone: 800-627-4556.
Donate by phone: 800-910-5524.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relie:
This organization is requesting monetary donations, as clothing isn’t needed. For information on how to donate, visit http://www.okdisasterhelp.com/2013/05/disaster-relief-how-to-help or http://www.okdisasterhelp.com/donate.
This web site is creating a special online fund to collect donations for the teachers and schools of Moore, Okla., to help respond and rebuild. Donors Choose will work with the teachers of Moore to assess what they need for their classrooms and allow them to identify the real-time solutions and supplies their community and their students need: everything from clothing for their students to first-aid kits.
To donate, visit www.donorschoose.org.
On a lighter note, thanks to everyone who helped out over the weekend with the Pass It On project. More than 200 people came out to help at the various parts of the park. I myself was there to cover it and help out for a little while myself, and just raking and shoveling debris from the beach for a few hours was a chore.
Hopefully, this is just the start of something good. The state is already going to focus on the park in no small part because of Saturday’s efforts.
Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.