Monday, 20 May 2013

Oklahoma City Tornado 2013: Twister Makes Landfall Near Capital (highest winds ever recorded on earth)

Oklahoma City Tornado 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A large tornado is bearing down near 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.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives canceled its afternoon sessions so Capitol employees and state lawmakers could take shelter. Sirens blared and workers made their way to the Capitol basement.

Oklahoma City's southeastern suburbs were hit by a storm Sunday and two people died. Monday's storm is in an area that is more densely populated.

Monday's storm is also near where a violent twister hit May 3, 1999. That storm carried the highest winds ever recorded on earth.

The Warren movie theater sits less than a block from hard-hit Moore Medical Center in the Oklahoma City suburbs.
Dean Lowe, from nearby Tuttle, was there to see the new Star Trek movie, but ended up taking shelter from the tornado. As he and his wife huddled in the hallway, the only sign of the chaos was the wind rushing through.
Outside, it was a different story.
“By the time they released us, we walked outside to apocalypse,” Lowe said. “I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. Everything around the theater was flat. The parking lot was empty. Mine was one of four cars that actually survived being thrown out on I-35. One of the doctors’ offices was actually leveled by several cars.”
The patients who’d been evacuated from the medical center were outside, too, Lowe said.
“Nobody else was taking charge, so I basically just sent people [from the hospital] over to the theater,” he said. “People were just standing there crying, and I directed them over to the theater, telling them, ‘It’s the only thing left. Go there.’”
Lowe said he was awed by the hospital personnel who went into action immediately after their building was hit.
“The people who were there ... they’re the real heroes,” he said. “I stood there just watching these people just not even thinking. They just dove in. They came out of the destruction and just jumped in and started saving people.” 

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