Eight years later: Remembering May 20, 2013 tornado


MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – It has been eight years since a devastating storm pattern brought several large tornadoes to the Sooner State.

On May 19, 2013, eight tornadoes touched down across the state of Oklahoma. Of those twisters, an EF-4 that hit Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties was the strongest.

May 19, 2013 tornado
May 19, 2013 tornado

The tornado leveled most of the Steelman Estates Mobile Home community, just off of Hwy 102.

More than 100 homes and structures in Pottawatomie County were destroyed and 100 others were damaged in Bethel Acres and part of Shawnee.

The tornado also hit Carney, Bethel Acres, Wellstone, and Prague before the day was over.

In all, two people were killed in the Shawnee area, 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson.

As many families were recovering from the storm, they had no idea an even larger tornado would hit the Sooner State in a matter of hours.

Newscastle Moore tornado dashcam - Newcastle Police Chief Greg Norman
Newscastle Moore tornado dashcam – Newcastle Police Chief Greg Norman

On May 20, 2013, a tornado touched down near Chickasha and began to rapidly intensify.

It then produced a tornado on the west side of Newcastle and moved east/northeast into the city of Moore and parts of south Oklahoma City.

The tornado tore through a 17-mile long path before it finally dissipated near Lake Stanley Draper.

By the time it hit Moore, it had recorded winds over 200 miles per hour and was over a mile wide.

May 20, 2013 Moore tornado damage
May 20, 2013 Moore tornado damage

Tragically, 25 people were killed in the EF-5 tornado, including seven students at Plaza Tower Elementary School.

The victims are as follows:

  • 49-year-old Terri Long
  • 29-year-old Megan Futrell
  • 4-month-old Case Futrell
  • 40-year-old Shannon Quick
  • 7-month-old Sydnee Vargyas
  • 4-year-old Karrina Vargyas
  • 38-year-old Jeany Neely
  • 9-year-old Antonia Candelaria
  • 8-year-old Kyle Davis
  • 9-year-old Janae Hornsby
  • 9-year-old Sydney Angle
  • 9-year-old Emily Conatzer
  • 9-year-old Nicolas McCabe
  • 9-year-old Christopher Legg
  • 45-year-old Cindy Plumley
  • 70-year-old Deanna Ward
  • 54-year-old Rick Jones
  • 63-year-old William Sass
  • 51-year-old Gina Stromski
  • 45-year-old Tewauna Robinson
  • 39-year-old Randy Smith
  • 46-year-old Leslie Johnson
  • 65-year-old Hemant Bhonde
  • 41-year-old Richard Brown
  • 90-year-old Kathryn Begay.

More than 300 people were injured in the storm.

In 2013, there were 57 tornadoes recorded across Oklahoma. In an average year, Oklahoma typically sees 41 tornadoes during the spring.

This season, Oklahoma has only seen 14 tornadoes across the state.

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