When federal aid started pouring into the state after last years’ storms, FEMA designated 4 million dollars for hazard mitigation – a tool used to protect communities from future severe weather through things like storm shelters.
As part of our series with Oklahoma Watch tracking the disaster relief funds, Kate Carlton Greer with the Oklahoma Tornado Project reports the communities you’d think might receive this kind of money sometimes don’t.
When a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma in May of last year, residential neighborhoods bore the brunt of the damage. But it was a different story in Joplin, Missouri, after an EF-5 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 500 businesses back in 2011.
Three years later, more than 90% of those businesses have returned to write a new chapter in Joplin’s story. Gail Banzet-Ellis with the Oklahoma Tornado Project reports.
Two years ago, a violent tornado hit Joplin, Mo. at a time when children were not in their classrooms. If the day and time had been different, that community could have become known for students killed by a storm instead of Moore, Oklahoma.
That near miss caused officials with the Joplin schools to look at storm shelters in a new light.
Red Cross worker Shannon Reed leads a class of Soldier Creek Elementary fifth graders in practicing a tornado drill. The Red Cross is visiting schools throughout the region, including this one in Midwest City.
During tornado season, preparedness is key. Phrases like “Don’t be scared, be prepared” populate Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites when there’s a severe weather threat. One organization is now taking steps to ensure kids also know what to do when severe weather rolls in.
Shannon Reed is a Community Resiliency Specialist with the Red Cross. Last month, she spent a day in a gymnasium at Carney Elementary School, teaching kids about severe weather.
After a devastating tornado rolled through Moore, Okla., last May, firefighters were scrambling to pull people out of storm shelters. Actually finding those shelters, though, was difficult. Landmarks had been swept away, and the town's emergency dispatcher was overwhelmed with calls.
"Yes, we're at 604 South Classen. There's people down," one caller said. "We're stuck under rubble. ... Please hurry."
Shonn Neidel was one of the firefighters rushing to rescue people that day, and he quickly saw a problem.
One year ago Tuesday, a violent tornado obliterated the city of Moore, Okla., killing 24 residents and leaving nearly 400 injured among the razed homes and businesses. It was the third violent tornado to strike the city in the past 15 years. But rather than move away, residents have stayed put in Moore — and more and more are actually moving here.
One year ago this week, a deadly EF-5 tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma, taking the lives of 24 people and destroying over 11-hundred homes. For many people, this week marks a painful reminder of the damage. For others, the year anniversary is an opportunity to put the devastation behind them with the support of their peers. Kate Carlton reports.
For many victims of last year’s deadly tornadoes in central Oklahoma, the storms created an existential crisis, where people questioned their beliefs and wondered just what to make of all the destruction in their midst. Kate Carlton looks at one group’s effort to tackle life’s big questions through the lens of several storm survivors.