Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

May 21, 2013

Tornado plows through Moore, Okla.

— SHAWNEE, Okla. — A powerful late-afternoon tornado leveled much of this Oklahoma community, which is located south of Oklahoma City. Reporters on helicopters flying above the scene described the scene as "devastating."

So complete was the wreckage, they said it was hard to pinpoint exactly what neighborhoods had been hit because so little was left standing.

The storm hit about about 4 p.m. and may have stayed on the ground for as long as an hour. The swath was described as at least a mile wide and perhaps several miles long.

A school was damaged but because all electricity in the area was out, it was not immediately determined if any students remained in the building. In nearby Norman, Okla., children had been given permission to check out earlier in what was expected to be  another afternoon of severe storms.

Over the weekend Oklahoma was hit by numerous tornadoes.Two people were reported killed in Shawnee, Okla., and more than 300 homes were damaged.

Earlier, Gov. Mary Fallin declared the state a disaster area. Monday's tornadoes, which TV weathermen said may have been an F4 or perhaps even an F5 tornado, where still circulating in other parts of the state.

A farm, which reportedly housed 70 or more horses, was especially hard hit. Some of the animals died and veterinarians said they expected others would be euthanized.

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