As we all know now...yesterday afternoon, at 2:56 P.M. Central, a tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma - a city just south of Oklahoma City. And it was NOT a normal tornado.This tornado was TWO MILES wide, and its winds were up to 200 miles-per-hour. It destroyed every building in its path . . . including an elementary school with children inside. When I came in this morning around 5 a.m. I was reading reports that at least 51 people were dead...including 20 children. Right now as of 10 a.m. the medical examiner's office is reporting some victims were counted twice and the death toll now stands at 24 people dead, including seven children. That number could still climb but at least for now it's an improvement. 101 people have been pulled from the rubble - about 120 people are in the hospital. We don't have an official count, but at least dozens of buildings and homes were destroyed. The local NBC station called it, quote, "the biggest, most destructive tornado in history." They probably meant in the history of the state because other tornados have been more powerful and caused more deaths but that's still extremely significant.
My heart goes out to those grieving, those left homeless, and those who face a long rebuilding process. I can't imagine the pain. I've been brought to tears several times throughout the morning just looking at the horrific images of loss and destruction. Please keep those from Moore, Oklahoma in your prayers - not just today - but for days, months and even years to come as many of those residents' lives will never be the same.
If you would like to donate -- The American Red Cross is asking for monetary donations -- Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross or go to http://t.co/DxtSZQEBtw to help the victims of Oklahoma.
Up close video of the tornado -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XMF22_MEMJU