Tornado Leaves Moore, Okla., Neighborhoods Unrecognizable

May 21, 2013



It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Melissa Block.

It has been an emotional 24 hours for the people of Moore, Oklahoma. Their city is now a federal disaster area, shattered by yesterday's deadly tornado. Meteorologists have confirmed that the tornado was a rare EF5, with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Entire neighborhoods are unrecognizable, trees splintered, houses gone.

SIEGEL: Oklahoma's state medical examiner says 24 people are confirmed dead, nine of them children. More than 100 people were found alive in the debris, according to the state highway patrol. This afternoon, Moore Fire Chief Gary Bird gave this detail about the search for survivors.


GARY BIRD: We will be through every damaged piece of property in this city at least three times before we're done, and we hope to be done by dark tonight.

BLOCK: Earlier today, President Obama reassured the people of Moore that their fellow Americans would stand with them for as long as it takes to rebuild.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There are empty spaces where there used to be living rooms and bedrooms and classrooms, and in time, we're going to need to refill those spaces with love and laughter and community. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.