Tornado, storms kill 4 near Oklahoma City: Join the Live Chat
A rescue team searches house to house for survivors Monday after a deadly tornado struck Joplin, Missouri.
May 24th, 2011
09:53 PM ET

Tornado, storms kill 4 near Oklahoma City: Join the Live Chat

Anderson is live from Joplin, Missouri again tonight. He'll have the latest on the storms that hit neighboring Oklahoma today and an update on the search and recovery operation in Joplin.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: 360° Radar
May 24th, 2011
08:40 PM ET

Tornado kills two near Oklahoma City, officials say

(CNN) - A deadly string of tornadoes and thunderstorms rampaged Tuesday through central Oklahoma, killing at least two people, injuring many others and destroying homes and vehicles, officials said.

Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards told CNN a large tornado that crossed I-40 near El Reno destroyed residences and caused a gas leak at an energy plant west of the state capital.

County Emergency Management Director Jerry Smith told CNN the storm, which eventually moved past Calumet and Edmond, north of Oklahoma City, killed two and caused numerous injuries.

The twister injured motorists on Interstate 40 and U.S. 81, Smith said. Deputies were attending to the injured, and there were reports of property damage in the area.

Another tornado was seen at Chickasha, about 40 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. It later reached Newcastle, before pushing through Moore and Norman, suburbs of Oklahoma City.

The National Weather Service warned residents and I-44 drivers to take precautionary action.

"It came right past the store," said Chickasha AutoZone employee Nathaniel Charlton. "They had a little debris thrown across the parking lot. It was on the ground, but it wasn't bad."

Sirens went off about 20 minutes before the storm pushed through, Charlton told CNN.

State officials received reports of damaged businesses in Chickasha.

"This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation," the National Weather Service said.

More twisters and severe thunderstorms were expected to push through the lower Plains and threaten Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by a tornado on Sunday.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Weather
May 24th, 2011
08:30 PM ET

Deadly tornado kills 124, leaves 'twilight zone' in its wake

Joplin, Missouri (CNN) - The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, Sunday killed 124 people, authorities said Tuesday, in what was the deadliest single U.S. tornado since modern record-keeping began 61 years ago.

An estimated 750 people have been treated at area hospitals, said Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, who told residents of the tornado-ravaged town to be prepared in case a new wave of dangerous storms strikes later Tuesday.

On a brighter note, rescue workers pulled two more people alive from the rubble within the last 24 hours, Rohr said.

Also Tuesday, forecasters raised their assessment of the Sunday storm, ranking it at the top of the scale used to rate tornadoes.

The National Weather Service has determined the twister packed top winds of more than 200 mph, making it a 5 on the enhanced Fujita scale, said Bill Davis, the meteorologist who reviewed the damage.

Davis said the tornado left "about six miles of total destruction" in its wake. Examinations of some of the buildings destroyed or damaged convinced forecasters to raise the designation, he said.

Roughly 8,000 structures within the city of Joplin sustained damaged, Rohr said, citing a Federal Emergency Management Agency report. A previous estimate had put the number of buildings damaged or destroyed at 2,000.

Among the dead in Joplin were 10 residents and a staff member at a nursing home, a company official said.

Two other staffers at Greenbriar Nursing Home are in critical condition at a hospital, said the home's vice president, Bill Mitchell.

Of the other 79 residents of the home, all but one are accounted for, he said. Only rubble remains and survivors have been moved to temporary housing or are with family members.

"It just looks like a war zone," said Eddie Atwood in a CNN iReport from the scene. From where he stood, Atwood said, "You could see all the way to the horizon because all the houses and all the trees were just leveled."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Weather
Beat 360° 5/24/11
President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II during a State Banquet in Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2011 in London, England. (Photo credit: Lewis Whyld - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
May 24th, 2011
07:46 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/24/11

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
May 24th, 2011
07:18 PM ET

Letters to the President: #855 'Trouble at home'

Reporter's Note: I write a letter to the president every day.

Dear Mr. President,

It must be odd to be stuck overseas as you are when something momentous and terrible strikes such as that tornado in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve covered a lot of big storms in my career - some of the biggest - but this was certainly a whopper. I’m sure the temptation to come rushing back is quite strong, and yet I think it is better that presidents don’t rush around too much in response to such matters.

Don’t get me wrong. I mean no disrespect to the people of Joplin. Their losses are profound and they deserve not merely the attention of the president, but also the prayers of us all. But sometimes stability is also much needed.

May 24th, 2011
04:53 PM ET

Text 360: 2011 set to be deadliest tornado year

Tonight on AC360°, Anderson speaks with CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers about the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri Sunday and the storm systems that have been ravaging the Midwest and the South recently.

Do you have a question for Myers about what is shaping up to be the deadliest year for tornadoes since the U.S. began to keep records?

Related: 2011 set to be deadliest tornado year

Send us a text message with your question for Myers. Please include your name and where you live. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: Text 360
May 24th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Video: Joplin reeling following twister

Editor's note: The search for survivors continues in tornado-battered Joplin, Missouri. CNN's Jim Spellman reports.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Weather
May 24th, 2011
01:26 AM ET

Video: Massive tornado hits Missouri city

Editor's note: AC360 reports on the sights and sounds from Joplin, MO which was hit Sunday by a deadly tornado.

Filed under: Weather
May 24th, 2011
01:22 AM ET

Video: Red Cross volunteer describes tornado

Editor's note: Marie Colby of Joplin, MO survived the massive tornado and immediately started volunteering to help those in need.

Filed under: Weather
May 24th, 2011
01:19 AM ET

Video: Friends hid in store's refrigerator

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper speaks with a group of 3 friends who survived the massive tornado inside a store's refrigeration unit.

Filed under: Weather
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