The Moore, Oklahoma neighborhood as it was before the tornado.


The picture above is a Google Streetview image of the Moore, Oklahoma neighborhood adjacent to the Plaza Elementary School. Yesterday a massive tornado completely leveled the school, the neighborhood, and a substantial portion of the town:

Rescue crews were searching Tuesday for survivors and victims of a massive tornado that had devastated a suburb of Oklahoma City, grinding up entire neighborhoods and pulverizing two elementary schools.

The swath of destruction in Moore, Okla., was up to a mile wide and 20 miles long. The state medical examiner’s office told the Associated Press early Tuesday that at least 40 more bodies were expected, in addition to the 51 people already confirmed dead as a result of Monday afternoon’s storm.

As you can see, it was a modest but certainly not rundown neighborhood. Now it’s rubble.

Words fail at a time like this. They’re claiming a death toll of 91 at this point but that’s almost certain to rise. My heart goes out to all of those who’ve lost homes or loved ones to the storm.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. tps says:

    The poor town got blasted by an F5 back in 1999.

  2. Just me says:

    The devastation is clear.

    Tornadoes can be very destructive-I remember as a kid our town being hit by a tornado-whole neighborhoods and a school were demolished and the tornado that hit then doesn’t seem to have been nearly as bad as this one.

  3. Nikki says:

    A guy on WTOP yesterday said Moore, OK is ground zero for Tornado Alley. I also read that a lot of the homes in that neighborhood had been re-built by Habitat for Humanity. I’m afraid HFH is gonna have to do it all over again.

  4. CSK says:


    The Texas neighborhood that was flattened last week by a tornado was also HforH. It’s hard to imagine any structure that could withstand the force of those winds.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A couple years ago, I participated in a caving project down in Arkansas just a week after a tornado ripped thru a half mile wide swath of AR just south of Mountain View. Pictures do not do the devastation of one of these storms justice. I was able to follow it’s path for miles and the things I saw left an impression. Whole forests chopped down like a giant lawn mower came thru. Fields stripped bare of grass. Homes…. exploded. I remember stopping at one point to look at a decapitated doll on the side of the road and wondering if the little girl was still alive.

    The power of wind gone mad is frightening in a way no other act of nature can match. (maybe earthquakes)

  6. Franklin says:

    It’s always the kids that get to me. I heard three schools were hit, some of the kids died being drowned while hiding in the basement. Sick to my stomach.

  7. Caj says:

    The devastation in Oklahoma is so very sad. I saw the aftermath of the one they had in 1999. You can never imagine how awful it is until you are up close and personal. My heart and prayers go out to all those poor souls. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with and no one stands a chance against her wrath.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    Like Franklin said, the kids and their parents get to me. I wouldn’t want to endure 5 minutes of the pain the parents are feeling, not for all the money in the world.

    But this isn’t just mother nature. This is mother nature and building codes that don’t acknowledge reality in tornado alley. For very little money retrofits can be done that greatly reduce damage and save lives. Here in California we live in earthquake country, so we build homes like people who live in earthquake country.

  9. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    True. In New England, houses were traditionally built to withstand heavy snowfalls, which had the fortunate side effect of making them able to bear up under other types of severe weather. There was a tornado in western Mass. on June 1, 2011. Four people were killed, and several hundred injured–but the death toll would have been higher had most people not had cellars in which to shelter.

    It must be economic necessity that forces so many people in Tornado Alley to live in mobile homes. Otherwise, it makes no sense.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    I happened to have lunch in Sausalito. The building was brick — something you very rarely see in the Bay Area. They had a warning plaque posted to the effect that you didn’t want to be there if you felt the earth start to move. Mother nature is a bitch, but we don’t have to make it easy for her.

  11. dennis says:

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son . . .”

    Yeah, I would’ve settled for him putting a whoa to all this s*** . . .

  12. roadgeek says:

    Read earlier today that Moore is the only city in the world to have ever been hit by two separate EF5 tornadoes. Not certain if the Chamber of Commerce will be putting that on their website, however.