Posted: May 20, 2013 3:28 PM CDTUpdated: May 20, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
Massive Tornado Rips Across Moore, Hits Elementary School, Shuts Down I-35
By News9.com - email
MOORE, Oklahoma -
Emergency crews rushed to south Moore, trying to rescue residents, students and staff who may be trapped in destroyed homes and an elementary school.
The massive tornado first touched down in Newcastle and churned toward Interstate 44 and S.W. 149th Street. It ripped down Santa Fe and hit Briarwood Elementary School, destroying the building. Parents ran to the school, trying to make sure their children were all right. Firefighters and police are also on scene, trying to rescue trapped students and staff.
Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department says there is no word of injuries from the elementary school. Knight says the school suffered "extensive damage."
Neighborhoods in Moore, Okla., are flattened and buildings are on fire. Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in the city south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.
The tornado left behind incredible destruction. It wiped out entire neighborhoods, leaving behind piles of debris.
There are reports of dozens of injuries.
The tornado also hit the Warren Theatre and several nearby businesses.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has shut down Interstate 35 both directions between Interstate 240 and Indian Hills Road.
News 9 meteorologists say the twister closely mimicked the path of the deadly tornado on May 3, 1999.
After hitting Moore, the tornado crossed Interstate 35 and continued its destructive path near N.E. 12th Street and Sunnylane.