Oklahoma mefites, please check in when you can May 20, 2013 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Listening to the news and it is terrifying. Two mile wide tornado? Winds up to 300 mph? Photos of Moore #1, #2, #3. Live coverage from KFOR.
posted by madamjujujive to MetaFilter-Related at 3:09 PM (65 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Yes - I've been waiting for Dr. Zira to comment again, over on the Mad Men thread. I've been thinking about her, and hope all's well.
posted by peagood at 3:18 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

From the live feed showing the IMAX and the hospital that looks like it took a direct hit, this is the area on google maps here.
posted by Big_B at 3:19 PM on May 20, 2013

Yes please. Hope you are all well.
posted by Splunge at 3:21 PM on May 20, 2013

If people want a quick sense of the affected area, this image shows a map of the track of today's storm and the very similar 1999 storm.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:23 PM on May 20, 2013

time lapse of tornado.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:23 PM on May 20, 2013 [6 favorites]

Holy crap. Good luck and be safe.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:26 PM on May 20, 2013

Yikes. Hope you all stay safe.
posted by arcticseal at 3:27 PM on May 20, 2013

That is horrifying. Mefites in the area, please check in when you can and stay safe....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:33 PM on May 20, 2013

i'm up in tulsa, things are ok so far. my heart is breaking for other areas of the state...
posted by nadawi at 3:33 PM on May 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

I have reports of Moore, OK taking a direct hit. Not sure the level of damage.

Stay safe everyone.
posted by Twain Device at 3:35 PM on May 20, 2013

Feeling shattered about this. I hope more people found shelter than I fear.
posted by Songdog at 3:36 PM on May 20, 2013

Yes, I've been wondering about Dr. Zira too. My other Oklahoma peeps are all safe and accounted for, I'd really like to bat 1000 on this, please.

*fingers crossed*
posted by ambrosia at 3:38 PM on May 20, 2013

Up to 30 sq miles of damage is being reported.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:42 PM on May 20, 2013

Photos - on BuzzFeed
posted by madamjujujive at 3:46 PM on May 20, 2013

More live coverage from KWTV.

My late great-great aunt lived there in Moore. Just so sad to see.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:52 PM on May 20, 2013

The elementary school. Those poor kids.
posted by ambrosia at 3:54 PM on May 20, 2013

I am scared just by watching this. Holy crap, indeed.
posted by nostrada at 3:54 PM on May 20, 2013

Fingers crossed for all our OK folk. That's a terrifying storm.
posted by immlass at 4:00 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

‏@ckanal PHOTO from Paul Little of Moore, #Oklahoma; says he found this in his house after the tornado. pic.twitter.com/geEdAWAxl0
posted by madamjujujive at 4:00 PM on May 20, 2013

There is some sobering video on Vine.
posted by fshgrl at 4:18 PM on May 20, 2013

Be careful out there.
posted by humanfont at 4:26 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

BBC coverage
posted by rongorongo at 4:29 PM on May 20, 2013

omg, KFOR reports that there are thought to be 24 little victims in the Plaza Towers Elementary School - no longer search and rescue, it's search & recovery
posted by madamjujujive at 4:34 PM on May 20, 2013

omg, KFOR reports that there are thought to be 24 little victims in the Plaza Towers Elementary School - no longer search and rescue, it's search & recovery

Oh no.

Poor little pumpkins.
posted by MissySedai at 4:43 PM on May 20, 2013

CNN is reporting 10 dead and at least 20 injured in the area.

They also report 75 students & staff were at the Plaza Towers school when it was hit, with Bill Bunting of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center saying "Our worst fears are becoming realized this afternoon."

My thoughts and prayers are with y'all.
posted by easily confused at 4:55 PM on May 20, 2013

Also safe in Tulsa here. The big cell that was moving in kind of broke up before it hit town, so I didn't have to ride it out at work.

I got a text from thatothrgirl a little while ago. She works in Moore and seemed pretty rattled (obviously), but she's unharmed.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:58 PM on May 20, 2013 [15 favorites]

There's a MeFi thread about the storm as well. I know it's sort of weird to split the discussion, but if we could keep this thread to being mostly check-in and drop links and other discussion stuff in the other thread, that would be helpful. Not mission critical, but helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:59 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

But how do we know who the Mefites in OK are, such that we know if they've checked in? Or am I missing something obvious?
posted by Justinian at 5:06 PM on May 20, 2013

Justinian, I don't think the idea is to make a big list and then cross off people reporting in in order to make a canonical list of who who hasn't checked in, but more as a central site for anyone in the area to drop a line, just in case there's a MeFite who happens to know that person is in OK and is worrying about them (like above, if someone knew that thatothrgirl worked in Moore and was worried if she was OK, they could read this thread and see, "Ok, she is")
posted by Bugbread at 5:20 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Justinian, I don't know all the OK mefites, I think it is a process of self-identifying and then naming others who they know are also OK.

I looked at some of the past meetups and saw Ufez, ormondsacker, francesca too, wierdo, dragonplayer, Dr. Zira, obliquicity, Snerd, and thatothrgirl. There certainly may be others, and there are several mefites who have family in OK, too.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:32 PM on May 20, 2013

And nadawi -- I didn't mean to leave you out. I really don't know my mefite geography.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:36 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh no. Please be safe, oklahomans. :(
posted by zarq at 6:18 PM on May 20, 2013

I'm just north of OKC; Moore is on the south side. One of yesterday's much smaller tornadoes was closer to us.

What makes today's storm so godawful, apart from its power, was the time of day. They usually come in the early evening. Today kids were still in school, parents still at work. Some are still trying to reconnect. Some, tragically, never will.
posted by Snerd at 6:28 PM on May 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

My family is fine, although one of my daughters had a closed call. She lives in the path of the tornado, near to the location it crossed over I35 and she decided to run home from work to rescue her dog. Cell phones and text messages got her headed east and then south, so she escaped the tornado, but most of the roads back to the city are blocked so she is holed up with family in Blanchard.

Her house survived with minor damage, but most of the neighborhood is gone. Ufez, I'm glad you heard from thartothrgirl. Has Zira checked in?
posted by francesca too at 6:36 PM on May 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

Dr Zira just checked in on the blue.
posted by donnagirl at 6:42 PM on May 20, 2013 [8 favorites]

Just north of OKC here as well, came out completely unscathed. The phone landlines have been acting up, but mobile service is intact.
posted by Saydur at 6:44 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

ormondsacker is on vacation right now, but I've been tweeting him.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:03 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

My cousin in Oklahoma City is posting emergency shelter info and "please don't go to Moore, let the emergency crews handle that' messages on facebook, while her sister is posting 'pray for Oklahoma' images. My dad's best friend in Norman had a tornado pass within two miles of his house but came out unscathed, house undamaged. Haven't heard anything about my uncles or the other handful of my dad's friends in the area, but they're all in OKC proper, which apparently escaped the worst of the damage. Dad and brother did their Oklahoma visit last week and made it back to the east coast before this tragedy, thank heavens.

Sending good hopes for my two cousins who are estranged from the family. They're still somewhere in OKC or environs, though I have no idea where. I haven't seen them in years and frankly don't expect to again in my life, but I wouldn't wish death by tornado on anyone, and I still hope that they are safe.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:03 PM on May 20, 2013

Francesca, my cable's out, are we getting more storms tonight?
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:05 PM on May 20, 2013

Does not seem like there will be another one. Although at 2:00 this one was still a severe thunderstorm. I only turned the TV on because I was getting golf size hail.

Has Ormondsacker checked in? He should be all right in Norman. Just saw your comment above. I'm glad he missed this mess.
posted by francesca too at 7:09 PM on May 20, 2013

I'm thanking my lucky stars that the storms once again dissipated before reaching Tulsa. Despite most of the region receiving at least a couple of inches of rain from the torrential downpours associated with the thunderstorms, I got literally a few sprinkles.

Did hear a bit of thunder from a cell about 20 miles out (!) though.
posted by wierdo at 7:10 PM on May 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

Pulling from OU's website: OU faculty, staff, and students: If you have been left homeless by the tornado and need emergency shelter at the University, please call 405-325-2511. We will do everything we can to help up to our available capacity.
posted by deezil at 7:20 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Zira, there is another thunderstorm moving in, channel 9 just said, south of Newcastle and Will Rogers airport, heading straight west toward Westmoore.

OUHSC uses the old Children Hospital as an emergency hotel and to house the parents of the children who are hospitalized: they will probably open it to people who lost their home.
posted by francesca too at 7:26 PM on May 20, 2013

Cable's back up, yay. KOCO just said 40 kids still unaccounted for.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:35 PM on May 20, 2013

Video shot by thatothrgirl
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:36 PM on May 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'm in Santa Fe on a really well-timed vacation. My brother on thr south edge of Moore has no water or internet, but otherwise okay.

Did you make it home ok Dr. Zira? Any word from hyperblue?
posted by ormondsacker at 7:37 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

That's way too close.
posted by francesca too at 7:38 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

My wife is from Oklahoma so we have a lot of friends and family there. Including one who picked her daughter up from Plaza Tower Elementary less than half an hour before the storm. Luckily everyone seems to have gotten to safety - the one person whose home was directly in the path of the storm was in Tulsa for the week. But he doesn't have a house anymore.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:52 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

ormondsacker: It took me about 3 hours. Every route South was traffic. Stopped off of I240 to rendezvous with my mom (the exit ramp was so backed up that one of those tweets I sent you was from the off-ramp), then we drove out to Choctaw Road to get back home, which was fairly clear. The eerie thing was seeing a caravan of dump trucks and bucket trucks heading westbound.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:55 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Man. I don't usually do this, but {{hugs}} you guys.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:09 PM on May 20, 2013 [13 favorites]

They're about to institute a curfew in Moore, which is good, because I'd heard some reports of looting at the hospital.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:15 PM on May 20, 2013

Anybody heard from crapmatic? Based on the location in his profile and the track maps I've seen, if it'd kept going for another 2 miles he'd have been right in the path.
posted by jferg at 8:38 PM on May 20, 2013

My Quonsee from last year, brieche, lives in the OKC area, but on the north side of town, it seems, so hopefully she is well away from the serious damage. Thinking of you and all the OK MeFites.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:16 AM on May 21, 2013

This former Okie Mefite sends all the hugs your way today, guys.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:51 AM on May 21, 2013

posting this is both threads since some locals might not be checking both...

if anyone is donating items instead of cash, my town just passed on a request for rain gear. we're having another day of thunderstorms and the first responders need ponchos and thick socks and heavy duty gloves. our first wave of cops just came home about half an hour ago - pretty sure they headed out to moore just as soon as the storm cleared off the road enough for them to get there. other specific items requested have been Toilet Paper, Paper towels, Baby Wipes, Diapers, Snack Food, Bottled Water, Trash Bags, and Pet Food.
posted by nadawi at 10:22 AM on May 21, 2013

Rock Steady, thank you so much for thinking of me; I checked out this thread in its early stages but got distracted by the news and didn't think to leave a comment myself. And yes—my family, friends, and I largely live far enough north that we were untouched by the tornado beyond some hail and lightning. Here's hoping this is the last of it for a long, long while.
posted by brieche at 11:44 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

I was on vacation in the backcountry and didn't even know this happened until days later. Back home now a few miles from the devastation. I'm so thankful not to have lost anything, or more importantly anybody. I have many friends who lost everything, and one workmate who lost his wife/mother of his child who was to graduate HS the next day. As with many things there are as many heartwarming stories as there are heartbreaking ones.

We're all flinching now every time the weather radio goes off (as is the norm this time of year). So easy to become complacent and calloused to the warnings until actual destruction is shoved in your face at EF5 magnitude.

So thankful for all of the caring people that have graciously helped our city with donations and support. This cleanup will take months, but there are endless, selfless, Herculean efforts underway. Peace.
posted by HyperBlue at 2:53 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am in an airport watching the news and tonight's storms look horrifying as well. OK & STL MeFites, please be safe & well!
posted by Westringia F. at 6:21 PM on May 31, 2013

Man oh man, you poor OK people can't catch a break - thinking of you tonight, stay safe.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:25 PM on May 31, 2013

Kind of a scattershot outbreak of less-powerful tornadoes hitting all over the OKC area at once. Less deadly, but the major highways are all shut down, and a good chunk of the metro area is without power (including Dr. Zira, but she says she's fine otherwise). If any metro Mefites still have power off tomorrow and need food storage or phone charging or whatnot, message me.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:46 PM on May 31, 2013

This was too close for me, since I live near I40 between Rockwell and MacArthur. That tornado really zigzagged a lot: closet time with sofa pillows on top last night. SW 15th and MacArthur is bad, lots of huge trees near the river are upside down. Granada Village (mobile home park) with severe damage, cars in ditches all over.
posted by francesca too at 12:25 PM on June 1, 2013

Glad you're okay, francesca.
posted by ormondsacker at 6:32 PM on June 1, 2013

Yikes, francesca. Do you have power? Need anything?
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:23 PM on June 1, 2013

We are fine, now but we had power outage. My son (some of you have met him) had his storm cellar packed with neighbors, rednecks squeezed in with Mexicans and blacks. He said they all drank beer, scotch and pops and nobody argued. Hard to believe.
posted by francesca too at 3:17 PM on June 2, 2013

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