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.
As we pass the one year anniversary of the devastating tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, we’re looking at lessons learned from another devastating storm, three years ago in Joplin, Missouri. Joplin’s EF-5 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 500 businesses, but since that time, the city has made remarkable progress getting back on its feet. As Gail Banzet-Ellis reports, that recovery has included planning for the unexpected.
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.
This May marks the three-year anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, just across the northeastern Oklahoma border. As Gail Banzet-Ellis reports, the city, like Moore, Oklahoma, lost a hospital. The community’s health care facilities became symbols of overall recovery and revival.
For the past 9 months, school shelter supporters have fought to get a $500 million bond issue to fund safe room construction on a statewide ballot. Attorney General Scott Pruitt revised the original proposal, adding what Take Shelter Oklahoma called "biased" and "unfair" language. But as Kate Carlton Greer reports, the advocacy group announced a new version today.
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.
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.
The month of May has a somber significance for many Oklahoma residents. It’s one of the busiest months for tornados, averaging 22 cyclones in 31 days. And after last year’s series of devastating storms that killed 25 people, it now also marks a sad anniversary. The Oklahoma Tornado Project and the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center teamed up to remember the events that took place one year ago.
It’s been nearly a year since a series of tornadoes devastated central Oklahoma, destroying homes, parks and commercial buildings. During the recovery process, construction crews gathered over 300,000 tons of debris between just Oklahoma City and Moore.
Jeff Bedick is the District Manager for Waste Connections, which operates a landfill in west Oklahoma City. The facility sits on 200 acres, which mostly just looks like a giant, grass-covered hill on the side of the highway.