AC360 411: Inside the Oklahoma Tornado Disaster Zone
May 23rd, 2013
02:39 PM ET

AC360 411: Inside the Oklahoma Tornado Disaster Zone

Tonight on AC360, Anderson will have more incredible stories of survival after Monday’s massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. He got a tour of the rubble at Briarwood Elementary with 5th grade teacher Robin Dziedzic. Amazingly, no one was killed at the school, even though it’s left in ruins. Dziedzic took students into a bathroom when the twister hit and recorded video on her cell phone of the moment of impact. We’ll share her incredible video and you’ll hear how she and so many others at Briarwood got out alive.

There is also a lot of grieving in Moore, where 24 people died when the tornado hit, including 10 children. Tonight Anderson will talk to Phillip Vargyas, who lost two children in the tornado – Karrina, 4, and Sydnee, just 7 months old. Vargyas’ two daughters were at home with their mom and grandma. They all tried to ride out the storm in a bathroom. “But when an EF5 lands on top of your house… there's nothing you can do,” says Mr. Vargyas. His wife and mother-in-law are hospitalized with injuries. He vows the family, which includes two older children, will recover and stay strong. He wants people to know what his daughters were like and will share his memories tonight on the program.

We will also show you how strangers are helping the residents of Moore with Operation BBQ Relief. That’s a charity that got its start after the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. They go into disaster zones and help feed the hungry. Tonight Gary Tuchman shows us how they’re feeding the people of Moore. Join us for those stories and much more at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

In the meantime, here's the AC360 411 on the tornado:

  • 24 – The number of people killed in Moore, including 10 children.
  • 377 – The number of people treated for injuries.
  • 2 – The number of schools destroyed in Moore. Officials vow Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary will be rebuilt.
  • 12,000 – Estimated number of homes damaged or destroyed.
  • $2+ billion – The cost of the tornado, according to the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
  • 4,000 – The number of insurance claims filed so far.
  • 1.3 miles – The width of the tornado as it tore through Moore

  • 17 miles – The length of the path of destruction on the ground.
  • 210 mph – The estimated peak winds of the tornado, making it the most powerful EF5.

  • 30 minutes – The time between when the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning and the twister hit Moore.
  • 40 minutes – The amount of time the twister was on the ground, hitting several towns south of Oklahoma City.

  • 14 years – The length of time since the last EF5 tornado hit Moore, back on May 3, 1999, killing 36 people.

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Filed under: AC360° 411 • Tornadoes • Weather
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