Moore and Surrounding Areas Attempt to Recover After Devastating Tornado in Oklahoma

May 21st, 2013 3:14 PM | No Comments

By Gabrielle Sasse,

Orr Family Farm barn wrecked by the massive tornado that went through the area. Photo from Orr Family Farm Facebook

As reports come in about the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma yesterday, things are looking both better and worse. A disaster press conference set up for Oklahoma City officials shed some light on how the disaster relief teams responded, how the city is coping, and how events are playing out for those who have been affected by this disastrous event. The twister is being classified as an EF4 tornado, and was on the ground for 40 minutes as it covered 17 miles, sometimes stretching to a mile to two miles in width.

Watching the Oklahoma Disaster Conference, reports are coming in with 24 dead, 9 of them children, and 237 injured, although medical examiners are estimating the numbers to rise. Keith Bryan, chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department commented that “as the storms began to develop, we assembled our responder teams and assets to have them in place immediately [...] Around midnight, our primary and secondary searches were completed.”  Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett wanted to “commend the city of Moore and its resources [...] they preformed valiantly.” In areas where ruble was up to four feet high, people and animals were crawling out of the debris. In this incredibly heartwarming story, a woman’s dog is found as she is being interviewed by CBS News. Accounts of teachers using their own bodies as shields for their students bring tears to your eyes, as accounts from all over Moore continue to come in and bring bright spots to an otherwise mind-numbing event.

Reports are trickling about farms that have been demolished, including the earlier commented on Orr Family Farm. The Cleveland County Commissioners stated that the fairgrounds are open to livestock, and shelters are helping to care for pets and animals. “Crews have been working 24/7 since Sunday” stated the commissioner, as the other side of the county had been struck by tornadoes earlier. Families are opening up their homes and pastures to displaced livestock from surrounding states including North Carolina, Texas and other areas of Oklahoma.

Photo courtesy of Hillary Powers

Debris as far as 30 miles away from Moore has been found. Hillary Powers, of Harrah, OK, found this paper outside of their barn this morning. They are located “northeast of Moore. We weren’t affected by the tornado, just have some debris like paper and insulation.”

A Facebook page has  been set up for Moore Tornado Information, including links to sites that are helping, donating, and what you can do to help. From this page, we have learned the animal shelters are in need of: Bleach, volunteers to walk the dogs they have taken in, Towels and water buckets. The shelter is located at 3900 S. I-35 Service Rd. east of I-35 (2 miles south of 19th St. and 1/4 mile north of Indian Hills. The number at the shelter is 405-793-5190. More information on how to donate can be located here.

Orr Family Farm and the adjacent Celestial Acres, who has lost an estimated 75-100 horses  has  set up a PayPal account at this time for those who wish to help the farm. More information will be posted on their Facebook page and on as it comes in.  PayPal:

A before and after image of the Orr Farm carosel. Images from Orr Family Farm Facebook


Other sites for more information and how to help include:

Moore Recovers

CNN How to Help

For lost and found animals click here.

For more information about preparing your livestock for tornadoes and other natural disasters, the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association has tips here.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those affected, and for those who continue to work to find survivors and to rebuild.

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