Residents of Moore, Oklahoma, continue to dig out from yesterday's horrific storms, but the search for any remaining survivors is threatened by more severe weather. Thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches, continue to stretch across Southern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, on Tuesday, as the storm that has already killed dozens of people this week continues to churn across the Southeast.
The most devastated areas will likely be spared the worst of Tuesday's weather, but as this morning radar image shows (via weather.com), the city of Moore has already seen heavy rains today, even as rescue and recovery crews worked through the night to search for victims. Gathering news organizations were asked to move their broadcast trucks further away from damaged homes, because the noise was making it hard for rescuers to listen for people who might be trapped. Oklahoma police say that more than 100 people were pulled out of the rubble alive last night.
At last report,
91 people are believed to be dead, though that is not a final number and it could go higher. (UPDATE 9:00 a.m.): Reuters is now reporting that number of dead may actually only be 24, officially, as chaos in the hours after the storm may have led to some deaths being double counted. Some potentially good news.)
The worst of the devastation, of course, was at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit from the tornado and was completely leveled with many children still inside. These before-and-after shots provided by The Telegraph show the extent of the damage and how entire sections of the school's buildings are now gone. (Click through for an interactive version of the image.)
The tornado also brought back painful memories of a devastating F-5 caliber storm that hit in almost the exact same area on May 3, 1999. This storm has already taken more lives than that one, which was previously considered one of the worst in American history. Monday's storm will join the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, storms as the most deadly in recent memory.
The front page of today's The Oklahoman (via newseum.org) references that previous storm. Check out their site for more local coverage of the aftermath and stories from the survivors. We have a roundup of other newspaper front pages here.
And here's a few more images from yesterday's disaster.
(A fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition in Moore, Okla., following a tornado Monday, May 20, 2013. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(Destroyed vehicles lie on top of each other after a huge tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City, May 20, 2013. REUTERS/Richard Rowe)