Okla. recovering one month after deadly Moore tornado

Posted on: 10:23 am, June 20, 2013, by , and , updated on: 08:22am, June 21, 2013

MOORE, Okla. – Thursday, June 20, marked one month since the massive EF-5 tornado tore through Moore.

The twister began in the City of Newcastle and quickly spawned into a deadly monster; headed straight for the City of Moore.

In the frantic minutes that followed, it was chaos as loved ones dug through rubble and destruction; desperate to find their loved ones.

We soon learned just how widespread that damage was.

Hundreds of homes damaged were in that area including two elementary schools that took a direct hit.

Although many areas are still heavily damaged, hope continues to grow in different forms.

As the debris piles continue to shrink, the memorials are growing significantly.

CLICK HERE for complete May 20 Moore tornado coverage

CLICK HERE for complete El Reno tornado coverage

The memorial in front of one of the hardest hit areas, Plaza Towers Elementary, is covered with stuffed animals, positive messages and hope and the nationwide support is stronger than ever.

Photo Gallery Expand 1 of 100
  • Thank God for all of those who survived and pray for the families that have suffered and lost love ones due to this destruction.

  • I snapped this picture of the beautiful sky over Moore Medical after the storms Sunday evening around 8PM. I was sitting the TFCU parking lot which is no longer there.

  • This is a picture of the sky above 19th and I-35 directly after the tornado. (The previous photo of Moore Medical the night before is mine as well)

  • Ironically the name of one of the street hit by the tornado is Calm Wind and the street sign was lodged into our neighbors fence during the storm.

  • Unnamed

  • This is a full double rainbow. However, the double is covered up by clouds and rain. 50th & Shartel, 5/23/13 Amy S. Mullen

  • May 23; Edmond. Storm with lightning and rainbow at same time. From Steve Guengerich

  • rainbow seen from north Okc area the morning of 05/23/13 during a lightning storm

  • What appears to be a rope Tornado, taken Bethany Ok. looking East 05/23/2013 at sunrise.

  • Sad reminder of that deadly day.

  • This is a before and after of our back patio.

  • There should be 3 homes here. All were leveled.

  • Signs were found in rubble and placed in the yard of this damaged home.

  • Okies still find a sense of humor amidst life altering devastation.

  • Trying to evacuate my grandmother from her home of 35 years in Moore.

  • Obama 2008 signs found in the rubble and placed in the yard of this damaged home.

  • May 20th from SW 159th & Vicki Drive.

  • Moore sunrise on May 23, 2013 The destruction and loss is depicted as well as the hope of a new day. Photo Christine Gibbons

  • Unnamed

  • 149th between penn and western

  • country edge drive on 149th between penn and western

  • This van was connected to a trailer holding a pontoon boat. It was thrown about 50 feet, and the pontoon boat and trailer are no where to be found.

  • Unnamed

  • Unnamed

  • Telephone Road at SW 134th Street

  • In the Warren Theater parking lot.

  • Moore Medical Center parking lot

  • credit: reddit user kookiekiller

  • This was the pond just north of the school.

  • More outside Moore Medical after the tornado. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • Shot from my car on I-35 N. just South of Indian Hills Rd.

  • Inside Moore Medical center, trying to get out. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • Debris in the cafeteria, where everyone in the hospital was evacuated to before the tornado. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • First glance outside to the sheer devastation. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • A look at the damage sustained as we came out of Moore Medical Center after the tornado

  • Image coming out of Moore Medical after the tornado. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • Aftermath of the tornado outside Moore Medical. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • Aftermath of the tornado outside Moore Medical. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • More aftermath of the tornado that hit Moore Medical. Taken by Jennifer Thompson

  • Taken in Newcastle Kim Arthur

  • Juggies Quik Stop Donations for tornado victims.

  • Newcastle tornado forming that hit Moore. Taken from my driveway Kim Arthur

  • Unnamed

  • These people were fortunate enough not to loose everything, but while they cleaned up the mess with all water shut off in Moore, they said they had been waiting hours for someone to bring water.... -located in neighborhood behind Warren Theater Photo by Joshua Mikeska

  • Unnamed

  • This was taken from the front doors of Westmoore High school yesterday.

  • Today, dropping off supplies at KFOR

  • Taken near Tecumseh rd on the east side of I-35

  • Unnamed

  • taken by David Wheeler

  • Unnamed

  • With all the destruction, notice the plastic bags still in their slot waiting for a student to choose it.

  • Briarwood Elementary 4 Classroom

  • Storm Chaser Photo-DEBRIS

  • View looking north on Santa Fe in Moore. Around ~S.W. 12th street.

  • View of tornado from behind, west of Southmoore H.S.

  • S.W. 13th Moore looking west to Santa Fe.

  • View near S.W. 13th looking east to Santa Fe

  • Mangled cars near S.W. 13th Moore

  • View from Santa Fe in Moore, just north of 19th, looking west.

  • Looking south on Santa Fe and 19th, Moore

  • Walgreens, Santa Fe and 19th

  • On Highway 37 - May 20th

  • Photo was taken from the area between May and Penn, just south of SW 134th (Hwy 37)

  • Looking east from SW 136th, just west of Penn.

  • Unnamed

  • Destruction from Monday's tornado

  • Unnamed

  • Unnamed

  • "We R Strong"

  • Credit: Bray Adams, Newcastle

  • Moore tornado on cover of Time.

  • Moore bowling alley - John Cadiz Klemack

  • "God Bless Moore" Warren Theatre

  • Plaza Towers elementary after Moore tornado May 20

  • Moore residents live in tents after tornado May 20

  • Moore residents live in tents after tornado May 20

  • Plaza Towers Elementary before and after Moore tornado May 20

  • Near SW 149 OKC/S 19th St. Moore at Santa Fe.

  • This was 2.4 in hail that came through Wynnewood, OK around 12:30am. The one my daughter has in her hand has an unusual image in the center. If you look closely, it is in the shape of a heart. This hail covered our yard and lasted about 7 mins

  • This was 2.4 in hail that came through Wynnewood, OK around 12:30am. The one my daughter has in her hand has an unusual image in the center. If you look closely, it is in the shape of a heart. This hail covered our yard and lasted about 7 mins

  • Hail Pick up from the ground 15-20 Minuets after falling. Newalla Oklahoma

  • Unnamed

  • Near SW 149 OKC/S 19th St. Moore at Santa Fe.

  • The sky over the Shawnee Air Port 5/20/2013

  • 164th & S Western

  • May 20th tornado

  • Flag among the wreckage- Victor Lee

  • pics from I-35 looking north

  • pics from I-35 looking north

  • Highland East junior High 4th east of Eastern and surrounding neighborhood

  • Highland East junior High 4th east of Eastern and surrounding neighborhood

  • Highland East junior High 4th east of Eastern and surrounding neighborhood

  • Highland East junior High 4th east of Eastern and surrounding neighborhood

  • Mother and son see their home for the first time

  • This is a quarter in the middle of the hail.

  • Unnamed

  • North Newcastle

  • North Newcastle

“We’ve come a long way but we still have a lot of work to do but you can see the progress made every day,” volunteer Danny Hardy said.

Hardy came from northwest Alabama exactly one month ago with a team of volunteers.

For the past 30 days, they have been removing debris from damaged areas.

As debris is dwindling, he said he has noticed memorials popping up across town.

Tornadoes hit his home state two years ago, which allows his team to relate to storm survivors in Moore.

“Well they get to a point where they don’t know what to do next so we come in, do our little part and give them a helping hand,” Hardy said.

Lucas Sjaarda came from Michigan with a team of 30 people from his church to help in the cleanup.

“I can’t believe it, if this was my home, I wouldn’t know what to do,” Sjaarda said.

He said when he heads home Friday, he has faith the volunteer efforts will continue.

“Just hoping other people are helping each other out over here too,” Sjaarda said.

Hardy said he has a similar hope for the community of Moore.

“That they just get stronger, you know what I mean, and that’s all you can do,” Hardy said.

Both the Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary schools will be re-built in the same locations they once stood; a sign the community is rebuilding, recovering and rising from this devastation.

The American Red Cross continues relief efforts in Oklahoma and has received more than $26 million in donations and pledges for its response to the tornadoes.

FEMA has also approved more than $8 million for individuals in need and so far more than 11,000 storm victims have applied for financial assistance.

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