The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Community News Network

May 22, 2013

Okla. officials vow not to quit looking until everyone is found

MOORE, Okla. — The tornado that killed 24 people and injured at least 100 others in the Moore and Oklahoma City area cut a 17-mile-long path that started in Newcastle and ended at Lake Stanley Draper. Nine of the dead are children.

At a press conference Tuesday, a tearful Gov. Mary Fallin said the tornado was one of the worst storms Oklahoma has ever faced. The destruction of two Moore elementary schools made it especially difficult to bear.

Fallin described walking through thick mud at the Plaza Towers Elementary school site. She said the scene was "surreal."

The two schools destroyed by the Monday afternoon tornado were Briarwood Elementary School at 14901 S. Hudson in Oklahoma City, Moore school district, and Plaza Towers, 852 SW 11th St., Moore.

Moore Schools Superintendent Susan Pierce, supported by her assistant superintendent, broke down while reading a prepared statement.

"I would like to extend my sincere sympathies," she said. "Our hearts go out to each of you, and we are suffering with you."

Pierce said safety is the district’s “prime priority” but she did not stay to answer questions regarding the school’s shelter policy.

Moore residents just approved a $126.4 million school bond that includes the construction of two elementary schools and one junior high school. It is the largest bond in the school’s history, but officials did not say whether tornado safe rooms will be included in the new schools as part of those projects. Recently built Norman schools, such as Reagan Elementary, have included several safe rooms in the design.

Pierce said Moore school system has a crisis plan in place, the schools were well prepared, and all schools implemented that plan at each school site. Search and rescue was ongoing, but was expected to conclude Tuesday night.

"We kept over 200 responders out in the field last night," said Moore Fire Chief Gary Bird. "We stayed at the school last night. We are still at Plaza Towers."

Text Only
Community News Network
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee