tornadoes

Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:58 am
Mon July 21, 2014

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Funds Don't Always Go Where Expected

Stillwater resident Hollie Schreiber received a government rebate on the storm shelter installed on her property after last tornado season.
Credit Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Tornado Project

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.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue June 17, 2014

A Native American Take On Tornadoes

1904-05. Red Stone Church Built Winter
Courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Musuem of Natural History, University of Oklahoma

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:50 am

While tornadoes continue to tear across America's midsection — taking lives and destroying property — we continue to search for explanations of the phenomenon, in hopes of developing better warning systems and protection.

But after decades of research, funded by decamillions of dollars, the fundamentals of wind funnels remain somewhat mysterious.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:31 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Joplin Businesses Bounce Back After 2011 Tornado

Liliya Moos sews on a wedding dress in the alterations shop she and her husband own and rebuilt on Main Street in Joplin.
Credit Gail Banzet-Ellis / Oklahoma Tornado Project

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. 

 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
8:29 am
Mon June 9, 2014

3 Years After EF-5 Tornado, Recovery of Hospital Reflects Recovery of Town

Mercy hospital's new state-of-the-art medical campus off Interstate 44 in Joplin, MO is under construction and will be complete by April 2015.
Credit Gail Banzet-Ellis / Oklahoma Tornado Project

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.

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School Storm Shelters
8:36 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Take Shelter Oklahoma Announces New Storm Shelter Ballot Proposal

Credit Take Shelter Oklahoma / takeshelterok.org

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. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:46 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Red Cross Program Teaches Emergency Preparedness To Kids Affected By 2013 Tornadoes

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.
Credit Jason Colston / American Red Cross

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.

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All Tech Considered
5:19 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Storm Shelter App Helps Pinpoint People Amid Tornado's Rubble

After a tornado leveled Moore, Okla., last year, firefighter Shonn Neidel (left) developed an app that helps first responders locate storm shelters under the wreckage.
Courtesy of Shonn Neidel

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:24 pm

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.

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Code Switch
8:54 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Oklahoma's Latino Community Prepares For The Next Tornado

Gloria and Francisco Sanchez stand in front of their new ranch house, still under construction a year after a tornado destroyed their last home in Moore, Okla.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.

Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Their deaths have sparked efforts to better prepare Hispanic families for storms.

On a windy afternoon in Oklahoma City, American Red Cross volunteer Ivelisse Cruz hands out stickers to families at the Children's Day Festival.

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Around the Nation
8:46 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Despite A History Of Twisters, Moore, Okla., Keeps Growing

Max Alvarez (left) and Hollan Corliss construct a new home in Moore, Okla., to replace one that was destroyed in May 2013. More than 300 new homes have been built since the tornado, in addition to the 1,100 that are being rebuilt.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:08 pm

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.

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One Year Since the Devastating EF5 Twister
8:40 am
Tue May 20, 2014

JenX: Remembering the Moore Tornado

Today marks one year since an EF5 tornado killed 25 people and devastated communities in southwest Oklahoma City and Moore.

Jennifer Lindsey McClintock has this remembrance in this week’s JenX.

Jennifer is an Oklahoma City native who works in marketing and public relations. You can reach her on twitter at @jeninthe405.

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