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Oklahoma Tornado Levels Town

Story By: Brad Francis



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  Original Published: 5/21/2013


The death toll is expected to climb after a powerful tornado struck outside Oklahoma City Monday afternoon.

CNN's Emily Schmidt reports from hard-hit Moore, Oklahoma.

Rescuers worked through the night, clinging to hope that survivors could still be found among the rubble of what were once homes and schools.

The vicious twister that tore across central Oklahoma Monday was two miles wide at one point, and stayed on the ground about 45 minutes.

One storm chaser who shot video of the tornado says it was so powerful, he could feel it trying to rip the phone out of his hand.

The tornado left behind utter destruction.

Outside Briarwood Elementary School, parents were overwhelmed with tears of joy as they reunited with their children.  But many children are among the dead.

Plaza Towers Elementary was in the direct path of the storm.  About 75 students and staff members were inside when the tornado hit.  A local TV reporter says the area looks like a war zone.

Even the hospital in Moore is, in the words of the mayor, devastated.  Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb says faith will help the people of Oklahoma get through this.

President Obama signed a disaster declaration Monday night.  That will help speed federal aid to the area.


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