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May 3rd 1999

Discussion in 'RC-Help Lounge' started by Tony, May 3, 2019.

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  1. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm sure most of you on here don't know what May 3rd 1999 means other than a date 20 years ago. But those of us here in central Oklahoma know that date all too well.

    Today marks 20 years since a deadly F5 tornado with winds over 300 mph (500kph). On that day, 40 people were killed, 672 people were injured. It was one of the worse tornado outbreaks Oklahoma has ever seen.

    F5 - 1
    F4 - 2
    F3 - 7
    F2 - 8
    F1 - 21
    F0 - 33

    Those are the number and size of tornadoes we had on that day. This was before the Enhanced Fujita scale, or EF scale. That day rewrote the books.

    The F5 that tore through Moore Oklahoma and took out hundreds of acres of homes, businesses and schools was on the ground for 38 miles and the max wind speed of 318mph (511kph). One school that was hit was Pioneer Elementary School, the same school that I went to as a kid. If memory serves me correctly, 7 children were killed when a wall collapsed because of that F5 tornado.

    I remember that day very well. I was actually wanting to go chase the storms that day, but my wife of 20 years talked me out of it. Probably a good thing she did...
     
  2. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    There have been so many strong tornadoes that have hit Moore, that I get them all mixed up any more. While there are several that I recall, there are two that do stand out more than others for me... even if I can't recall exactly which was which.

    The first one I was working at PC+ and in the afternoon, after a lot of storms already, we decided to close the store I was working for early since the power kept going out anyway. I was living in Bethany but working in Norman... so I left that afternoon and about 5 minutes after I'd driven through Moore, the tornado was reported as crossing I-35. My GF of that time was also working next door to where I worked, we really felt lucky to have gotten ahead of the tornado and actually make it home. Most of the roads going that way ( between Bethany and Norman ) were closed for several days after that.

    The second time, much the same happened only I'd already moved to Norman. After the tornado tore Moore up again, it had created enough of a power surge in the electrical grid, that it also took out the power in much of Norman as well. Again many of the roads going north out of Norman ( through Moore and the affected areas ) were again closed.

    I also recall the 2013 tornado that went through more on the 20th. This one was just one day after another smaller tornado had badly damaged my ExGF's and her husbands house, took out a batch of the trees in their front yard. So we were trying to get things cleaned up and then the other tornadoes hit. Talking about making it really tough to do anything to help in the recovery process.
     
  3. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    The May 3rd 1999 tornado was the one that crossed I-35 right at the Shields bridge. The other one you are remembering is the one that hit about a mile south, at 4th street I think it is. It's where the post office is with nothing but houses on the east side of the interstate. Also hit the theater there.

    I do remember a lot of them, May 8th and 9th come to mind, I remember May 20th (all varying years), but yea, Moore has definitely had enough, that's for sure.
     
  4. D.O.G.

    D.O.G. I Support Rc-Help! Rc-Help Supporter Goblin 380 Supporter

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    Sorry to here about that storm. Any storm that takes people lives and does serious damage to community's , is nothing to take lightly. Living here in Florida, we have are share of hurricanes and of course they do some serious damage when they make land fall but is not as scary as a tornado. When a hurricane approaches us, you can see it coming and where it might go. You have the choice to get out of the way of it's path. Not so with a tornadoes. They come quick and do their damage in such short period of time their on the ground. Sure... they have alert warnings but not much time to react to those warning vs a hurricane that takes it sweet time to arrive. I rather ride out a storm from a hurricane vs the quick strike of a tornado anytime. My prayers go out to all of uses that lives out west in tornado country.
     
  5. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Want to know a cool little fact about May 3rd 1999? It was a "Low Risk" day for tornadoes. Now days, they over predict severe weather more than they under predict. Of course, then there is the Elreno tornado... Largest tornado in history...
     
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