If you live in Oklahoma or other states in the Tornado Alley region of the United States, you learn to live with terrible storms that occasionally sweep through the region. But sometimes you can’t live with those storms.
Yesterday was one of those days in the Oklahoma City region, and the devastation — emotional and physical — is horrific. A series of tornadoes hit the area, and one of them tore through Moore, Oklahoma, leveling the Plaza Towers Elementary School, ripping off the roof, toppling walls, and killing a number of schoolchildren. The current death toll stands at 91 people, with hundreds more injured, but that number is expected to rise as search and rescue teams comb through the debris.
The storms were unbelievably powerful, with winds reaching up to 200 miles per hour. I’ve seen the tree-toppling punch of storms where winds reach 70 and 80 miles per hour, but I can’t imagine the strength of 200 m.p.h. winds that can shred sturdy buildings like humans can shred tissue paper.
I also can’t imagine the anguish of parents whose little children were taken from them by a storm. Our hearts go out to the battered residents of Oklahoma City as they search for survivors and struggle to deal with this extraordinary tragedy.