Live Updates: Deadly Tornado Devastates Moore, Oklahoma
Dramatic live video captured the formation of a tornado near Oklahoma City. The video came courtesy of KWTV/KOTV. As the tornado touches down, the video captures debris flying and power lines being struck. This after deadly twisters struck Sunday. One resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma died and upwards of 30 homes were completely destroyed.
UPDATE, 9:20p ET: Albert Ashwood, Director of Oklahoma’s Department of Emergency Management, compared today’s tornado to the epic tornado of May 3, 1999. He said, “I think the fact that what we see today is going to be very similar, if not exceed what we saw in 1999. Keep in mind, anytime there’s a loss of life it’s a devastating disaster.”
UPDATE, 9:10p ET: During an ongoing press conference, an emergency official confirmed that there were casualties at Plaza Towers Elementary School. He was unable to say how many children had been killed in the storm.
UPDATE, 9:03p ET: Shepard Smith reports that according to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, the death toll has now risen to 51.
UPDATE, 8:56p ET: During an ongoing press conference, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin expressed that it was a ‘tragic’ day for Oklahoma. She said that her prayers and thoughts are with all of the families affected by the storm, particularly those parents who are wondering about the state of their children.
She referenced the 1999 tornado, “It’s just hard to believe that something like this could happen again to Moore.”
UPDATE, 8:39p ET: Stay tuned to FNC for a live press conference from officials in Moore, Okla.
UPDATE, 8:26p ET: 85 patients are confirmed at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. 65 of those patients are children. Scott Coppenbarger, a hospital spokesperson, said the injuries range from minor to critical. They are fully staffed and bracing for more patients.
UPDATE, 8:17p ET: State medical examiner's office reports 37 killed in Oklahoma tornado. The death toll is expected to rise. Hospitals confirm 60 people are injured, including several children.
UPDATE, 8:01p ET: Shepard Smith tells us that according to the same NBC reporter, 7 bodies have been recovered from the school. According to NBC's reporting, the victims drowned.
UPDATE, 7:45p ET: Shepard Smith just reported heartbreaking news from the local NBC affiliate. A reporter at the Plaza Towers Elementary School reported that up to two dozen children are believed to be trapped at the bottom of the school debris, and that the local authorities are turning from a search and rescue mission to a recovery mission.
The NBC reporter said, “I understand they are going to start pulling these little bodies out of the rubble very soon.” The third graders had huddled in their “safe zone,” a school hallway.
UPDATE, 7:18p ET: Shepard Smith reports that all students at Briarwood Elementary School are now accounted for. It’s our understanding that everyone in the school somehow survived.
UPDATE, 7:14P ET: Briarwood Elementary School was one of two elementary schools wrecked in the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Shepard Smith reports that parents were seen rushing to the school, dodging downed power lines. A local reporter spoke to a girl who attends Briarwood. She said the school was “trashed” and there was nothing left there.
UPDATE, 7:12p ET: Casey Stegall reports that according to a police officer, four people have died at the 7-11 in Moore. According to Stegall, people are throwing debris in the air trying to reach people.
UPDATE, 7:06p ET: Shepard Smith tells us that according to the local NBC station, four people have died in Moore. A mother and baby are included in the count. According to the report, they tried to get into a freezer during the tornado but were unable to do so.
UPDATE, 6:54p ET:Bret Baier tells us that according to AP reports, several children were pulled from the rubble at the Plaza Towers Elementary school alive. Also according to Reuters, two hospitals in Moore are reporting 29 injured, 7 in critical condition.
UPDATE, 6:30p ET: A Moore resident described a war zone. “Mothers and dads just in total devastation running to the school trying to find their children, and some, unfortunately will not find their children alive. So prayers would be very much appreciated right now,” she said. Watch the interview.
UPDATE, 6:20p ET: Janice Dean tells us that according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service, the tornado was an EF4, which would mean winds of upwards of 166 to 200 miles per hour. Dean says that preliminary reports indicate that the storm was two miles wide and the winds were 190 miles per hour.
UPDATE, 6p ET: Seventy-five children at Plaza Towers Elementary School were sheltered down in the building when the tornado ripped through town. Fifteen of those children are unaccounted for at this moment. In an emotional interview, Shepard Smith spoke to James Moody, a resident who lives across the street from the school. Moore said, “Everything I can see is gone.” Watch here.
UPDATE, 5:26p ET: The orange line in this photo shows the storm's path of destruction.
UPDATE, 5:21p ET: Shepard Smith tells us that KFOR is reporting that this storm is much more massive than the one that struck May 3, 1999. The 1999 storm was previously the largest storm to hit the area.
UPDATE, 5:09p ET: Fires have broken out throughout Moore in the wake of the tornado's devastation. See helicopter video of the scene. "This ain't good, that's for sure," the chopper reporter manages to say as he chokes up watching the devastation.
UPDATE, 5:07p ET: Moore, Oklahoma is said to be seeing massive devastation.
UPDATE, 5p ET: The storm is said to have measured a mile-wide.
UPDATE, 4:45p ET: We're seeing the first pictures of the storm's damage.
UPDATE, 4:35p ET: Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean gave an update on the tornado ripping through Oklahoma City. The threat in Oklahoma, Texas and all the way up to parts of Missouri is not over.
She reported that the flashes seen in some footage are that of power lines. Local meteorologists are looking for a “debris ball,” which would indicate the tornado is taking up whatever is in its path.
UPDATE, 4:30p ET: Storm Chaser Warren Faidley joined Neil with some advice for those in the storm’s path. He said their first priority should be to get underground. If you are unable to get underground, protect your head by putting on a helmet of some sort. Go to an interior structure of the home, and secure it with anything to brace against items flying through your home.