Growing up in Oklahoma, in tornado alley, I remember hearing that tornadoes, like lightning, never strike the same place twice. Well, that’s not true. In 1999, Moore, Oklahoma–a big suburb between Oklahoma City and Norman–was struck by a monster tornado, an F-5, one so big scientists had to alter the scale, killing 44 people and wiping out a big swathe of the city. (I happened to be there a couple of days later and saw houses, shopping centers, and office buildings reduced to piles of garbage.) But Moore rebuilt.
Yesterday, Moore was hit again by another huge tornado that might have been even worse. The funnel at the top was two miles across and killed over 50 people (a toll that will likely go higher). I know two families in Moore, relatives by marriage of my wife. We got word that both of them lost their homes.
We’re on the road and should be driving through what’s left of Moore later this week.
UPDATE: Now they are saying 24 were killed, rather than the larger numbers released before. See this.