Wednesday, May 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Death toll reduced amid tornado chaos

Rescue workers and their dog rest Monday outside Briarwood Elementary School after a tornado destroyed the school.   AP photo

Searchers rest outside the Briarwood Elementary School after the tornado destroyed the school , Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/ The Oklahoman, David McDaniel)

By
From page A2 | May 21, 2013 |

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — Emergency crews combed the sticks and rubble remains of an Oklahoma City suburb Tuesday morning, less than a day after a massive tornado slammed through the community, flattening homes and demolishing an elementary school. At least 24 people were killed, including at least seven children, and those numbers were expected to climb.

As the sun rose over the shattered community of Moore, the state medical examiner’s office cut the estimated death toll by more than half.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliot said she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm that struck Monday afternoon. Downed communication lines and problems sharing information with officers exacerbated the problem, she said.

“It was a very eventful night,” Elliot said. “I truly expect that they’ll find more today.”

Authorities initially said as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.

New search-and-rescue teams moved in as dawn broke Tuesday, taking over from the 200 or so emergency responders who scoured the neighborhood all night with a helicopter shining a spotlight from above to aid their search.

Fire Chief Gary Bird said the fresh teams would search the whole community at least two more times to ensure that no survivors — or victims — were missed. They were painting an ‘X’ on each structure to note it had been checked.

“That is to confirm we have done our due diligence for this city, for our citizens,” Bird said.

By early Tuesday, the community of 41,000 people, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, braced for another long, harrowing day.

“As long as we are here … we are going to hold out hope that we will find survivors,” said Trooper Betsy Randolph, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

More than 120 people were being treated at hospitals, including about 50 children.

Search and rescue teams continued their desperate efforts at Plaza Towers Elementary, where the storm ripped off the school’s roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal as students and teachers huddled in hallways and bathrooms.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she watched up close late Monday as rescuers tried to find people in the wreckage of the school.

“It was massive destruction last night,” Fallin said in an AP interview Tuesday. “It was an incredible sight to see how big the debris field was and how much destruction there was. It would be remarkable for anyone to survive.”

Children from the school were among the dead, but several students were pulled out alive from under a collapsed wall and other heaps of mangled debris. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain of parents and neighborhood volunteers. Parents carried children in their arms to a triage center in the parking lot. Some students looked dazed, others terrified.

Officials were still trying to account for a handful of children not found at the school who may have gone home early with their parents, Bird said Tuesday.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

The National Weather Service issued an initial finding that the tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale, the second most powerful type of twister. It estimated that the twister was at least half a mile wide.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., forecast more stormy weather Tuesday, predicting golf ball-sized hail, powerful winds and isolated, strong tornadoes in parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The area at risk does not include Moore.

In video of the storm, the dark funnel cloud could be seen marching slowly across the green landscape. As it churned through the community, the twister scattered shards of wood, awnings and glass all over the streets.

Monday’s powerful tornado loosely followed the path of a killer twister that slammed the region with 300 mph winds in May 1999. It was the fourth tornado to hit Moore since 1998. It also came almost exactly two years after an enormous twister ripped through the city of Joplin, Mo., killing 158 people and injuring hundreds more.

That May 22, 2011, tornado was the deadliest in the United States since modern tornado record keeping began in 1950, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Before Joplin, the deadliest modern tornado was June 1953 in Flint, Mich., when 116 people died.

————

By Nomaan Merchant and Tim Talley. Associated Press writers Sean Murphy and Ramit Plushnik Masti; and Associated Press photographer Sue Ogrocki contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

New chemistry building in the works at UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Fix it yourself, with a little help, at Bike Forth

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
BeerFest expands to include cider

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
May 11 talk focuses on clean water

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Origami lovers will meet at library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Breast cancer treatment update offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Health care documentary will screen at meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

New book flows with good news about water

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Injection wells endanger our aquifers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Living with this for 30 years

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis boys dominate first playoff match

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Features

.

Arts

High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5