The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 21, 2013

EF-5 tornado called 'worst in history'

President sends aid, resources to state

EDMOND — President Barack Obama pledged the federal government’s full support for disaster relief in what is being called one of the most devastating tornadoes in history. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed a team to the state.

Monday’s devastation in Moore and Oklahoma City included two schools and miles of homes and businesses. The National Weather Service revised its damage estimate Tuesday afternoon to label Monday’s tornado as an EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

“The people of Moore, should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them, as long as it takes,” Obama said. “There are empty spaces where there used to be living rooms and bedrooms and classrooms and in time we’re going to need to refill those spaces with love and laughter and community.”

The president signed a disaster relief order Monday night after speaking with Gov. Mary Fallin.

“Our hearts are just broken,” said Fallin, who asked the nation for prayers.

Recovery from the Moore tornado continued Monday night through Tuesday as rescue workers uncovered pieces of wreckage in search of survivors and to account for the dead.

“This has been a big tragedy for the state and I know it’s not easy to handle something of this magnitude,” Fallin said Tuesday. “I know that people have worked around the clock and have put in extremely long hours in extremely dangerous circumstances.”

The medical examiner’s office revised the death toll to 24 Tuesday, including nine children. Some 237 people, 58 of them children, have been treated so far at area hospitals. Fallin said the number of deaths from the Moore tornado was still being assessed for an accurate count. There were two deaths reported from the May 19 tornado that hit Shawnee.

“We have also heard that there may have been bodies that were taken to local funeral homes,” she said.

The disaster assistance benefits individuals and business owners impacted by the severe storms that occurred May 19 and May 20 in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. Gov. Fallin noted with additional damage assessments other counties could be added to the declaration.

“There will also be legislation that we are working on right now in the Oklahoma Senate an the House that will be a legislative vehicle to be able to tap our state Rainy Day Savings account,” Fallin said.

An emergency fund is being created for the state to manage federal dollars to help local communities in need of services, Fallin said. The state has launched a website,, to provide up-to-date information and resources.

“I’ve also signed an executive order that will waive the weight limits for utilities that are coming into the state, and working in the state, to help get power restored in the state and get utilities services going again,” she said.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said state and federal agencies are working together to coordinate the search and rescue efforts.

“The congressional delegation and I will join Gov. Mary Fallin, local leaders and FEMA officials this afternoon to ensure that resources are best used to help all those in need,” Inhofe said.

Fallin said the state also experienced loss of life and homes on Sunday. It’s important that people begin registering their need for a place to stay with FEMA, said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. The primary response is being led by Gov. Fallin, he said. She encouraged victims and survivors to call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for assistance. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are standing by to help the victims.

Moore residents in the tornado area are without water. The water pressure in Oklahoma City is low due to a water plant that was damaged, Fallin said.

Edmond Water Resources Superintendent Kris Neifing said Edmond water is fine. Rumors that the water is contaminated due to the recent storms is not true, he said.

Fallin asked for state employees affected by the tornado to work through their agency heads to get 15 days of administrative leave without having to take sick days or vacation leave in order to take care of their personal needs.

Clinic capacity is available in metro hospitals to care for those who are injured, Fallin said. Mental health shelters are being established, Fallin said, with a 1-800 number to be announced.

In addition, the IRS is offering tax relief to Oklahoma tornado victims with return filing and tax payment deadlines extended to Sept. 30.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be ready with bulldozers to clear roads at some point in time in the future. People will be allowed to look for their possessions and lost property. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry also has brought in heavy equipment to assist with debris clearing.

Fallin with the United Way of Central Oklahoma has established the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund to assist with the long-term medical, emotional and educational needs of victims of the May 20 tornado in Moore and Oklahoma City and the May 19 tornado near Shawnee as welll as the Edmond tornado on May 19 where 12 homes were either destroyed or damaged.

Donations for the long-term needs can be made by calling 405-236-8441 or donating online at

Responding agencies and organizations also are collaborating to organize resources to feed up to 40,000 people over the coming days, according to the state.

OG&E continues its work to restore power, Fallin said. More than 38,000 Oklahomans were without power; 20,000 of those being in Moore and Oklahoma City, Fallin said. Electricity has been restored in Edmond, according to Edmond Electric. AT&T and Verizon have been setting up mobile units to restore better communications in the area.

“We still got a lot of congestion on the cell system; we’ve still got towers down because of the power outages,” Fugate said. “Unless it’s an emergency — stay off the phones — allow people who need to get through to get through.”

Fugate asked people to let people know they are safe to help FEMA focus on the people who are actually missing.

“We’re going through that debris and we’re going to keep looking until everybody is found,” Fugate said. | 341-2121

Text Only
Local News
  • north 1.jpg U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10

    All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
    U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
    “This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • OC expands to 5 academic colleges

    Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
    OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
    “Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”

    April 23, 2014

  • N Front Door 3.jpg FBI seeks suspect in robbery of local bank

    Police and FBI agents are investigating the robbery of a local bank by a suspect wearing a fake mustache and goatee, a spokesman said.
    FBI Special Agent Martinus McConnell said the robbery occurred Tuesday morning at the Arvest Bank, 2025 Sonoma Park, Edmond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ekso 1.jpg Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action

    In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
    In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
    Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
    Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • clock edit.jpg Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library

    In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
    Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Be on the lookout for termites

    Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
    Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.

    April 23, 2014

  • Betz handprint.jpg Central students organize ‘Take Back the Night’ to end sexual violence

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s National Organization for Women (UCO-NOW), Institute of Hope and the Violence Prevention Project will host a Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally to end violence, beginning 7 p.m. May 1 in Pegasus Theater in Central’s Liberal Arts building.
    TBTN events date back to the early 1970s and focus on eliminating sexual violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers and rape crisis centers have sponsored TBTN marches throughout the country.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • suspect 1 Police investigate more home burglaries in Edmond

    Residents have reported an additional seven home burglaries to the Edmond Police Department the day after an equal number occurred, according to city records.
    Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a detective is investigating the new incidents reported during the day on Tuesday. Monroe said similarities in them lead the agency to believe they are connected.
    Tuesday’s reported burglaries occurred in different areas including near the Covell-Coltrane intersection and south of 15th Street along Santa Fe. According to city records, they were reported at:

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • earth day 7.jpg Central community learns about water conservation

    Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
    Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
    During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • pic 2.JPG Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion

    Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.
    And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.
    Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results