Story Summary

Tornado Near Oklahoma City

ok tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY — A large tornado in Oklahoma City, part of a series of severe storms expected across portions of the Midwest.

Television footage shows a funnel cloud touching down southwest of the city on Monday, and radar indicates it is moving toward the state’s capital city.

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The Southern Regional Police Officers’ Association is taking part in a relief drive to aid the victims of the communities recently affected by the tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. They’ll be gathering items through June 2oth. Officers will then personally deliver the donations to a distribution center in Oklahoma City. Items needed include Sports drinks, Energy/granola bars, hand sanitizer, diapers, non-perishables, cleaning supplies, work gloves, Sun block, and insect repellant. Items can be dropped off at the Southern Regional Police Department -   3284 Main St. Conestoga, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8Am and 1PM. Monetary donations are also being accepted, and will go toward additional items and travel expenses. In addition, volunteers may be needed to help sort and package items and to assist in other drive-releated capacities.

Students at the PA School of Culinary Arts are helping to raise funds for Oklahoma communities affected by the recent tornado with a sale at the school Tuesday and Wednesday.

For sale were breads, fresh pizzas, cakes, cookies and brownies. All items were made by the students.

Locally, a York County woman needs your help as she gathers food, and medical supplies for people in Oklahoma.  She started her own drive called, “Give Moore “.     The images coming out of Moore, Oklahoma are horrific. Many there, lost everything . That’s why Jennifer Runkle contacted a church just miles away to see what they needed. From there, she took to Facebook and created,  “ Give Moore”.  In  just a few days her family and friends dropping various supplies off at her home.

“ I could not imagine coming down this street and not seeing my home. I could not imagine that. It`s horrifying,” says Runkle.

Runkle will be collecting items for the next few weeks and every Friday she’ll ship all of the items to Oklahoma.

“ I just had this calling in me I was just like I have to help this people.”

If you’d like to help you can email Jennifer Runkle and she will come to your house and you can give her the supplies to ship to Oklahoma :

givemoore2013@gmail.com

ok tornado

The Salvation ArmyEmergency Disaster Services teams continue to respond to areas affected by a series of tornadoes that occurred this past Sunday and Monday. Service area includes Carney, Shawnee, Cleveland County and Moore, OK.

As of yesterday evening, The Salvation Army has provided 4,314 meals, 5,552 drinks and over 2,500 snacks to those affected by the tornadoes as well as emergency first responders. Additionally, emotional and spiritual care has been provided to over 100 persons. Meals, hydration and emotional and spiritual care are being provided by crews and mobile feeding units from Hot Springs, Jonesboro and Pine Bluff, Arkansas alongside Central Oklahoma Area Command, Ardmore, Enid, Lawton, McAlester, Muskogee, Shawnee and Tulsa, OK.

“The Salvation Army is calling on everyone to pray for all of those impacted by the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma,” says Major Steve Morris, Arkansas-Oklahoma Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army. “Many of these impacted communities will take months, or even years to recover. The Salvation Army is committed to being there with them throughout and providing aid wherever it’s needed.”

The Salvation Army works closely with local emergency management officials, fire departments and police departments to respond to incidents within the community.  For updates on how you can help support relief efforts, please visit www.SalvationArmyPendel.orgor follow @SalArmyPhilly on Twitter.

Information is also available online at:

SalvationArmyPendel.org

SalvationArmyDelaware.org

LehighValley.SalvationArmyPA.org

SalvationArmyPhiladelphia.org

disaster.SalvationArmyUSA.org

If you’re looking to lend a hand to residents ravaged by the tornado in Oklahoma, there are a number of organizations that could use your help.

Kathy Smyser with the American Red Cross of Central Pennsylvania, says donating money is the number one thing you can do.

“Asking people if they can text Red Cross to 90999 and a $10 contribution will be put on their cell phone bill and that will go to the relief effort,” says Smyser.

The relief effort includes shelter and food.

Organizations such as the Salvation Army, Operation USA and Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief also have donation text messaging set up.  If you do not want to text your donation, you can always make a donation by telephone or online to help those in need.

Also keep in mind, Central PA Red Cross chapters are not sending anyone to Oklahoma at this time.  Chapters closest to the devastation are helping out now.  If and when the need’s determined, outreach will move in from further away.

oklahomatornado

UPDATE: The state medical examiner’s office said 24 people were confirmed dead, including nine children. Earlier reports of at least 51 deaths were erroneous, said Amy Elliot, chief administrative officer for the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

At least 100 people have been pulled alive from the rubble by rescuers.

 

By Gary Tuchman, George Howell and Holly Yan, CNN

Moore, Oklahoma (CNN)–Clinging to the hope of finding more survivors, rescue workers scoured mountains of rubble Tuesday where houses and schools once stood.

But as they searched through the night and Tuesday morning, the sobering death toll continued to climb in this city far too familiar with nature’s wrath.

The vicious tornado that ripped across central Oklahoma on Monday killed at least 51 people — with about 40 more bodies expected to arrive at the Oklahoma state medical examiner’s office, Amy Elliott of the coroner’s office said. Roughly half of the expected bodies are children.

The official death toll will gradually rise from 51 as each of the bodies are processed, Elliott said.

Already, at least 20 of those killed were children, including seven from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore — the site of a frantic search Tuesday morning.

The school was in the direct path of the storm’s fury. About 75 students and staff members hunkered down in Plaza Towers when the tornado hit, CNN affiliate KFOR reported.

At one point, an estimated 24 children were missing from the school, but some later turned up at nearby churches. It’s unclear how many may still be trapped in the wreckage, and how many are dead or alive.

A father of a third-grader still missing sat quietly on a stool outside. Tears cascaded from his face as he waited for any news.

Even parents of survivors couldn’t wrap their minds around the tragedy.

“I’m speechless. How did this happen? Why did this happen?” Norma Bautista asked. “How do we explain this to the kids? … In an instant, everything’s gone.”

Across town, Moore Medical Center also fell victim to the tornado.

“Our hospital has been devastated,” Mayor Glenn Lewis said. “We had a two-story hospital, now we have a one. And it’s not occupiable.”

So 145 people were rushed to three other area hospitals.

That number includes 45 children taken to the children’s hospital at Oklahoma University Medical Center, Dr. Roxie Albrecht said. Injuries ranged from minor to severe, including impalement and crushing injuries.

Click here to read more on the story.

Source: CNN

National & World News
05/20/13

How to help Oklahoma tornado victims

Several groups have already come forward to collect donations to help victims of Monday’s deadly EF-4 tornado in South Oklahoma City.

To donate to the Salvation Army’s storm relief efforts in Oklahoma, text “storm” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

You can make a donation to The Red Cross  by visiting www.redcross.org/okc or www.redcross.org or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Red Cross shelter information

At The Red Cross site, Safeandwell.org, you can register yourself as safe, or search for friends and family members.

At least 51 people — including seven children at an elementary school — were killed when a massive tornado struck an area outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Authorities said that Plaza Towers elementary school in Moore took a direct hit from the tornado. The winds whipped off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal.

Rescue workers passed surviving children down a human chain to a triage center in the parking lot.

James Rushing, who lives across the street from the school, heard reports of the approaching tornado and ran to the school, where his five-year-old foster son, Aiden, attends classes. “About two minutes after I got there, the school started coming apart,” he told the Associated Press.

Local reports said 75 children and staff were in the school at the time, some of whom were feared trapped in the rubble. KFOR reporter Lance West, who was on the scene, said he saw 30 children being pulled out alive.

Emergency services struggled to get to the badly hit areas because of damage to infrastructure and debris on roads. TV footage showed volunteers helping first-responders search rubble for survivors in Moore. Cars, homes and even schools appeared to have been destroyed. Sporadic fires broke out in the aftermath of the storm and thousands of properties remained without power.

Oklahoma City police captain Dexter Nelson said downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk in the aftermath of the tornado.

President Barack Obama told Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin the federal government “stands ready to provide all available assistance” as part of the response to a series of deadly storms that have struck the Oklahoma City area, including Monday’s devastating tornado. A White House statement said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has deployed a team to assist state operations, and additional personnel are ready to be dispatched as necessary. Obama told Fallin that “the people of Oklahoma” are in the first family’s “thoughts and prayers,” the statement said.

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