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Oklahoma – The latest developments

🕐 3 min read

Joe Sterling

CNN

(CNN) — At least 24 people, including 10 children, were killed when a massive tornado struck an area outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, officials said.

At least seven of those children were killed at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, police said. Emergency personnel on Tuesday continued to scour the school’s rubble — a scene of twisted I-beams and crumbled cinder blocks.

The tornado was 1.3 miles wide as it moved through Moore, in the southern part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, the National Weather Service said. The estimated peak wind ranged from 200 to 210 mph, which would make it an EF5, the most powerful category of tornado possible, according to the agency.

Latest updates:

President Obama will travel to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.

Residents of tornado-struck Moore, Oklahoma will be allowed back into their neighborhoods as of 3 p.m. local time Wednesday, Mayor Glenn Lewis said . Light vehicles will be allowed but heavy equipment, trailers and satellite trucks will be prohibited, he said. Press will be allowed, but the media will have to be out by dark.

Previously reported:

— About 10,000 customers in Moore still don’t have power, down from a high of 37,000, Gov. Mary Fallin’s office said.

— Insurance claims related to damage from Monday’s tornado and storm in metropolitan Oklahoma City are likely to top $2 billion, said Kelly Collins, a representative of the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

— The state Medical Examiner’s Office, which is starting to release the names of the people who died in the disaster, said 10 of the 24 people who died are children.

— About 2,700 insurance claims have been filed so far in the massive tornado and storm, Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said Wednesday. He expects more to be filed.

— The number of injuries in the devastating tornado now stands at 324, Fallin said in a tweet Wednesday.

— The mayor of Moore said he’ll try to get an ordinance passed requiring storm shelters or safe rooms in new housing projects. “I have six councilmen, and I need four votes to get it passed,” Mayor Glenn Lewis told CNN on Wednesday.

— The seven child victims at Plaza Towers Elementary were in a classroom — not a basement — and they did not die from flooding, Moore Fire Department Chief Gary Bird told CNN on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb told CNN the children had drowned in a school basement.

— Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, told CNN the agency is in “good shape” to support the recovery in Oklahoma and in other disaster zones, such as rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey and New York. “We got full allocation last year with the Sandy supplemental funds. We are looking to continue the response here as well as the previous disasters. If we have another hurricane, we may need more money,” he said Wednesday.

— About 2,400 homes were damaged in Moore and Oklahoma City, said Jerry Lojka of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Some 10,000 people were directly affected by the tornado, he said.

— Insurance claims will probably top $1 billion, Kelly Collins of the Oklahoma Insurance Commission told CNN. The cost would be higher than that from the May 3, 1999, tornado that hit the same area.

 

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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