Recovery Begins While Officials Clarify Numbers On OK Tornado Damage

Thursday, May 23rd 2013, 3:02 pm
By: News 9

Governor Mary Fallin and other officials held a press briefing on Thursday to update the relief efforts of the deadly tornadoes from Sunday and Monday.

Fallin said to date, 2,200 people have been helped but said she knows more people need assistance. If you were affected by the tornado, you need to register with FEMA. Two mobile FEMA disaster recovery centers are open where victims can register or talk one-on-one with a FEMA representative. Those mobile centers are located at the First Baptist Church on 27th Street in Moore and the other one is located at the Heart of the Oklahoma Expo on Independent Street in Shawnee.

Fallin stressed that all communities will get assistance and that the communities of Bethel Acres, Carney, Shawnee, Newcastle and Norman and others hit have not been forgotten.

Oklahoma City police have corrected a damage estimate from the tornado that swept through an Oklahoma City suburb.

At a news conference on Thursday, police spokesman Dexter Nelson misspoke when he said there were 1,200 homes damaged or destroyed by Monday's storm.

The department later released a statement confirming the error, saying their current estimate was 12,000.

Since Wednesday, officials have offered different estimates for the damage in Moore and nearby Oklahoma City.

Michelann Ooten is deputy director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. She says her office is still working to compile a damage estimate.

Nelson says authorities still believe about 33,000 people were affected by the tornado. The death toll from both Sunday and Monday's tornadoes stands at 26, with approximately 377 others injured.

The main task now, according to Fallin is recovery, debris removal, restoring utilities and opening roadways and businesses.

Residents are being allowed into the area to collect their belongings, and if you have minor damage to your property you are allowed to start moving debris to the curbside.

Authorities have estimated the damage to cost around $2 billion.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak