Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

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
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • 0425 OTT eagle stock photo Mahaska Co. man accused of killing bald eagle NEW SHARON — A Mahaska County man faces federal charges after allegedly beating a bald eagle to death and decapitating it. Jason John Thomas was arrested in New Sharon after being indicted by a federal grand jury. He is accused of killing the eagle i

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014