Thunderstorms slow Oklahoma tornado cleanup
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Students from an elementary school flattened by a tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb have reunited with their teachers and collected what belongings could be salvaged from the wrecked building.
Some brought thank you cards. First-grader Crisily (KRIS'-ih-lee) Dixon was eager to see a gym teacher and for a chance to say goodbye for the school year.
Her grandmother Cheryle Dixon said the girl was not at the Plaza Towers Elementary when the tornado struck, killing seven students. Her father had picked her up an hour earlier when he learned of the severity of the storm.
Dixon says the girl's face "just turned pale" when she saw photos of the damage.
She says Crisily shed a lot of tears. Thursday's event was held at a school that was not damaged.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-TWISTER TOWN
Latest deadly tornado tests Oklahoma town's mettle
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma natives know tornadoes. They've been carried into storm cellars as children and huddled in closets with their own kids.
But this week's EF5 storm that killed 24 people stands out, even in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, where violent weather is common. Surviving a monster twister that dismantles your house highlights an old danger in a new way.
Barbara Bryen never feared twisters. They were just a fact of life in this particularly deadly stretch of Tornado Alley. But now Bryen and others who live here say they would never build a house without a storm cellar.
Moore has been through this before. The town has been hit by four tornadoes since 1998, including one in 1999 that killed more than 40 people.
Officials clarify numbers on Okla. tornado damage
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Authorities have clarified and significantly downgraded the number of homes damaged or destroyed in this week's tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb.
Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman Dexter Nelson said Thursday that the most recent count indicates that 1,200 homes in the city and the suburb of Moore were affected by Monday's storm.
The mayor of Oklahoma City announced at a news conference Wednesday that as many as 13,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged. There was no immediate explanation for the differing estimates.
Nelson says authorities still believe about 33,000 people were affected by the tornado.
The monetary damage is estimated to be around $2 billion.
OK-OKLAHOMA TORNADO-CENTER REOPENED
Okla. reopens emergency operations command center
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management has reopened its emergency operations center as strong storms moved through central Oklahoma just days after a deadly tornado.
Department spokeswoman Keli Cain said Thursday that the center is open. The department had previously announced that the command center would be shut down at Wednesday at midnight.
Storms with heavy rain and hail began falling in the area early Thursday morning and prompted flash flood warnings in central Oklahoma.
The storms come after a massive tornado struck Moore on Monday and left 24 people dead and more than 300 injured.
Line of storms brings flash floods to OKC area
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Storms that lingered over the Oklahoma City area have brought flooding to several areas.
A number of roads in the metro area had to be closed Thursday morning due to high water. Cars and people were stranded in places and the National Weather Service recommended residents delay traveling until the waters recede.
As the noon hour approached, a flash flood warning was in effect for Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Kingfisher, Logan, McClain and Oklahoma counties.
In Oklahoma City, officials say SW 104th between Rockwell and Meridian was washed out and a sinkhole formed on Rockwell between SW 74 and SW 89th.
Flooding also affected the Interstate 240 Service Road at South Western.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-EMERGENCY FUND
Okla. House gives final approval to tornado relief
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has given final approval to legislation that dips into the state's constitutional reserve fund to help central Oklahoma communities impacted by devastating tornadoes.
Without debate, the House voted 95-0 Thursday for the measure that appropriates $45 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund for tornado relief. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 45-0.
The reserve funds will be deposited into the State Emergency Fund and used by the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management to aid in recovery efforts, including infrastructure repairs. Officials say the money will be used to match federal money made available to affected communities.
A massive tornado struck the city of Moore on Monday, killing at least 24 people. A separate tornado on Sunday left two dead in Shawnee.
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