Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) spoke Tuesday about the devastation that struck her state a day earlier, saying that the damage from a string of tornadoes, including a massive one that leveled the entire town of Moore, was "the worst" she'd ever seen.
"The tornado itself was very very wide. It just wiped out miles of homes and businesses," she said on CBS' "This Morning." "It's probably the worst I've ever seen."
On Monday afternoon, a 2-mile wide tornado ripped through Moore, a small town outside of Oklahoma City, destroying structures of all sizes. Numerous victims are still thought to be trapped beneath rubble as one elementary school took a direct hit and another was destroyed. The tornado is feared to have killed as many as 91 people and injured well over 200 residents.
Moore experienced similar catastrophe in May of 1999, when an EF5 tornado with winds over 200 mph killed more than 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Fallin told CBS that the tornado that struck Monday was worse.
"If you walk through the neighborhoods, if you go through of some of these business areas and certainly when you see the schools, it's just heaps of debris, and you can't really even tell what was in that particular location," she said. "It would be incredible if anybody survived in any of those structures."
Fallin also said she'd spoken with President Barack Obama and expressed her appreciation for the quickness of his response to the disaster.
"I very much appreciate his phone call. He offered any type of assistance that he can give," she said. "We appreciate the president, the administration, FEMA approving our emergency declaration so quickly last night. This is going to be a huge recovery effort."
Obama has approved federal disaster funding for the relief effort and is scheduled to deliver a statement on the tornado at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
BEFORE YOU GO
05/23/2013 12:46 PM EDT
Oklahoma Governor: Missing Have Been Accounted For
All people thought missing have been accounted for at this time.— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) 2 years ago
05/23/2013 12:43 PM EDT
Oklahoma Governor Posts Update
Updated fatalities, deaths and missing persons:
The 5/20 tornado has lead to:
24 deaths.— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) 2 years ago
05/23/2013 6:26 AM EDT
Volunteer Shows Dedication To Helping Tornado Victims, Rescuers
Shaunta Strong has worked 2 days straight. Making sandwiches for victims & first responders. twitter.com/KatyJBlakey/st…— Katy Blakey (@KatyJBlakey) May 23, 2013
05/23/2013 5:41 AM EDT
Storm Lights Up Skies Above Moore
05/23/2013 4:58 AM EDT
Rough Weather Forecast To Hit Tornado-Ravaged Region
05/23/2013 2:05 AM EDT
Okla. Mom Recalls Being In Labor During Tornado
While the Moore Medical Center crumbled around her on Monday afternoon, Shay-la Taylor was in labor with her second baby boy.
The mom-to-be knew about the severe weather watch as she checked into the hospital to be induced at 9 a.m. that morning, but says she wasn’t really nervous.
“We’re used to tornadoes and sirens,” the 25-year-old mom told HuffPost in a phone interview. “If you freaked out every time you heard a siren, you’d have an anxiety attack every May in Oklahoma.”
Click here to read the rest of her tale.
--Farah L. Miller
05/23/2013 12:47 AM EDT
Sheriff's Department Offers View Inside Plaza Towers Elementary
05/22/2013 11:37 PM EDT
California Cupcakery Holds Fundraising Event For Oklahoma
Sprinkles Cupcakes in Los Angeles plans to donate all of the proceeds from their (ever-popular) Red Velvet cupcake sold on May 22 to support Oklahomans affected by Monday's tornado.
"As a native Oklahoman with my parents and brother still living in Oklahoma City, I am especially heartbroken by this devastating tragedy," Charles Nelson, co-founder of Sprinkles, stated on Facebook.
For more, click here.
05/22/2013 11:07 PM EDT
PHOTO: Kevin Durant Tours Tornado-Ravaged Moore
Basketball player Kevin Durant viewed tornado-damaged homes in Moore, Okla., on Wednesday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star also donated $1 million to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. The Thunder later matched the $1 million donation. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)
05/22/2013 10:56 PM EDT
Mail Service Alternatives Offered In Storm-Damaged Areas
The post office branch in Moore, Okla., was one of the thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed by Monday's twister. To help residents impacted by the disaster, the US Postal Service is setting up mail service alternatives in the area, News9.com reported.
Some of the options being offered include held mail, portable post offices and delivery service through an alternative office nearby. Letter carriers will also attempt to deliver mail wherever possible.
Click here for more.