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Help the victims hit by tornado this week in Oklahoma
Written by {ga=cgraham}   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 00:00

During the last week of May, eighth-graders and high school seniors prepare for the pomp and circumstance of middle school promotion and high school graduation ceremonies around the country.

However, in Oklahoma, several devastating tornadoes swept through the state earlier this week, the biggest of which hit three counties covering the suburbs of Oklahoma City, especially the town of Moore, Okla., on Monday, May 20.

Christopher_Fox_Graham_-_ANAThe huge tornado was classified as a 5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale — as big as they come. It was more than two miles wide at its peak, and during the 50 minutes it was on the ground it destroyed a 17-mile stretch of the area.

At some points, winds were in excess of 210 mph, ripping homes to shreds as if they were made of paper and tossing cars around like toys.

The tornado injured 240 people and killed 24, including nine children. More than 2,400 homes were damaged or destroyed causing between $1.5 billion and $3 billion in damage. About 10,000 people were affected.

While the Verde Valley is not prone to tornadoes, monsoon floods and forest fires are a perennial threat to Camp Verde and the surrounding communities of 10,000, about the same number of residents affected by the Oklahoma tornado.

The tornado also struck the Moore Medical Center, Plaza Towers Elementary School and Briarwood Elementary School. At the right edge of the storm’s path, Briarwood Elementary School was ruined by sustained heavy winds.

However, Plaza Towers Elementary School was squarely in the center of the tornado’s path and suffered the tornado’s peak EF5 winds. Young students who had taken refuge in the building during the tornado warning had the school ripped to pieces around them and were pulled out by teachers, parents and rescue workers after the tornado passed over. Seven students were killed at the school.

The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross already sent one volunteer to join the hundreds of others treating the victims, many of whom lost their homes.

To help people affected by the Oklahoma tornado or other disasters like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires, donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling (800) RED CROSS, visiting the Red Cross website, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

If you have funds or prayers to spare, send them to Oklahoma this week.


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