Oklahoma

7:13am

Sat May 25, 2013
The Two-Way

'We Need Help Bad': 911 Calls Reveal Chaos In Tornado's Wake

An American flag flies over the rubble of a destroyed neighborhood on May 24 in Moore, Okla.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Authorities in Moore, Okla., just released some of the calls that were made to 911 during the EF-5 tornado that devastated the city.

They're harrowing and they offer a glimmer of the chaos and emotion that followed the storm.

During one of the calls, a man tells the dispatcher that the tornado has "cremated" a daycare.

"We need help bad," the man says. You can hear the sounds of children crying in the background. "We need help bad. We got tons of babies in here."

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6:30am

Sat May 25, 2013
The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.

'Please, No More Clothes': Relief Groups Ask For Cash

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 2:38 pm

Relief agencies like the American Red Cross say monetary donations give them the greatest flexibility to address victims' needs.
Erik Lesser EPA/Landov

The tornado that devastated much of Moore, Okla., has drawn loads of donations from across the country: food, clothing, medical supplies, toys. Much of it is needed by the victims, but not everything.

After every disaster, relief groups usually ask for one thing: money. But writing a check or texting a donation isn't always that satisfying for those who want so desperately to help.

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3:55am

Sat May 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Baptist Church In Oklahoma Churns Out Meals For Victims

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hundreds of volunteers have come to Moore, Okla., this week to help the community after Monday's deadly tornado. Some people are cleaning debris, others are bringing out water and supplies to people whose lives have been turned upside down. NPR's Kirk Siegler stopped by one volunteer-powered relief group that's working east of town.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE SPEAKING)

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4:03pm

Fri May 24, 2013
The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.

Tornado Safe Rooms In Schools A Popular, But Costly Idea

Many school safe rooms, like this one inside Jeffries Elementary in Springfield, Mo., also serve as gymnasiums. Constructed with a $1.6 million grant from FEMA, which covered 75 percent of the cost, the shelter can hold more than 500 people — enough to accommodate all the school's students and employees.
Scott Harvey KSMU

In the days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., talk of constructing safe rooms in public schools has become commonplace.

In southwest Missouri, officials have built a few of them already, and they are seeking funding to build more.

'A Sense Of Peace'

Karina O'Connell is preparing dinner tonight under the pavilion at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield, Mo., where she's eating with her 9-year-old twin sons, Samuel and John Patrick.

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6:01am

Fri May 24, 2013
The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.

Tornado's Survival Rate 'Not Just Luck,' Meteorologist Says

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 7:58 am

Marc Austin monitors radar and issues warnings at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., on Thursday.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla., killed 24 people and caused an estimated $2.2 billion worth of damage. As the community reflects on what happened, one question is: How did so many manage to survive such devastating destruction?

Lifelong Oklahoman Kristi Freeman has seen her share of tornadoes, but she says the twister that tore through her neighborhood Monday was something else.

"This tornado was like a monster. It was like something that was alive. It destroyed your peace, your comfort," she says.

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