Storm Chaser Tim Samaras, Son Paul Samaras & Carl Young Died Chasing El Reno Tornado

BREAKING NEWS:   Storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and a team member, Carl Young, all died while chasing a tornado in El Reno, OK, Friday. Tim Samaras and his son are among the 11 people killed — seven adults and two children , as well as  104 injured in the tornadoes and ensuing flash floods.

James C. Talbert died after he drove his vehicle off a washed out bridge at E Hefner and N Dobbs Road in eastern Oklahoma County early Saturday morning, the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office reported.

And the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that Dorenia Akins, 69, of Clearview drowned Saturday morning after driving into the high rushing waters of flooded Alabama Creek, south of Clearview on an Okfuskee County road.

More flooding deaths were feared. A rescue team from the Oklahoma City Fire Department was searching the Oklahoma River Saturday for several members of a family that took refuge in a drainage ditch and may have been swept into the river. The body of a 4-year-old from that family was recovered, but it was unclear Saturday whether his death was included in the count provided by the medical examiner’s office. Source: NewsOK

The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes was lucky to be alive, after his storm chase vehicle, with him in it, was tossed 200 yards in the El Reno storm. Two years ago he spoke out against trying to get too close to a tornado, saying:

An increasing trend I see happening is chasers try to get as close as possible to one-up their competition and cash in on dramatic video. And the one thing I always hear from professional chasers is how safety is their number one concern and warning the public is their number one priority. Me? I call BS on that one. While you’re being hit by debris and being flipped by your car by a tornado, you’re not very concerned about your safety or anyone else’s. You’re setting a bad example for a young generation of chasers who follow your lead.

Here are some images from the tornadoes:

Names of Moore Tornado Victims Released, 10 Children Among the Dead Including 4-Month-Old Case Futrell

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner has released the names of the Moore tornado victims released. Ten children and 14 adults were killed. President Obama will visit Oklahoma Sunday to see the damage firsthand and meet with families.

Victims:

Terri Long 49

Megan Futrell 29

Case Futrell 4-months-old

Shannon Quick 40

Sydnee Vargyas 7-months-old

Karrina Vargyas 4

Jenny Neely 38

Antonia Canderaria 9

Kyle Davis 8

Janae Hornsby 9

Sydney Angle 9

Emily Conatzer 9

Nicolas McCabe 9

Christopher Legg 9

Cindy Plumley 45

Deanna Ward 70

Rick Jones 54

William Sass 63

Gina Stromski 51

Tewauna Robinson 45

Randy Smith 39

Leslie Johnson 46

Hemant Bhonde 65

Richard Brown 41

Most of the victims died from blunt force trauma or asphyxiation.  The two youngest victims, four-month-old Case Futrell and seven-month-old Syndee Vargyas both died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Right Wing Radio Host Alex Jones Suggests ‘Government Weather Weapon’ Behind Moore EF-5 Tornado

300px Alex Jones thumbs up Right Wing Radio Host Alex Jones Suggests Government Weather Weapon Behind Moore EF 5 Tornado

Right Wing Radio Host Alex Jones Suggests ‘Government Weather Weapon’ Behind Moore EF-5 Tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The right wing will stop at nothing to make themselves come across as just downright ignorant. Can we now dismiss Alex Jones as a moron? He is now suggesting that EF-5 tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., was the result of a ‘government weather weapon.’ Complete and utter rubbish:

Noted conspiracy theorist, soothsayer of all things ridiculous, and radio host Alex Jones has come out with the baseless and insensitive claim that the U.S. government “can create and steer groups of tornadoes.” During The Alex Jones Show on Tuesday, the day after a devastating tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people, Jones responded to a caller who was asking about weather modification by the government by saying, via a lengthy tangent, that while he didn’t know if the Oklahoma tornado “was a weather weapon or not,” the government can, and does, influence the weather.

Here’s Media Matters’ take on Alex Jones ‘weather weapon‘ theory:

 Right Wing Radio Host Alex Jones Suggests Government Weather Weapon Behind Moore EF 5 Tornado

Westboro’s Fred Phelps Jr. Blames Moore Tornado on Openly-Gay NBA Player Jason Collins

Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps Jr. is blaming the Moore tornado on NBA player Jason Collins, who recently came out as a gay man. Of course, Mr. Phelps hasn’t given an explanation for the 1999 Joplin tornado or even the previous tornado that hit Moore some years ago.

Megan Futrell, 3-Month-Old Child, Killed During Moore Tornado, Hid in 7-Eleven Freezer

Megan Futrell, a mother of two, was killed along with her three-month-old child in the 7-Eleven that was in the path of the EF-5 Moore tornado. She sought shelter in the store where she hid with her child in a freezer.

Megan Futrell was a teacher. She leaves behind a son, Cody, and her husband. This comes as hopes fade to find survivors in the rubble at Plaza Towers Elementary School, where 24 children are reportedly still missing.

 

 

Plaza Towers Elementary Students Sydney Angle and Kyle Davis Missing After Moore Tornado

kyle davis plaza towers 226x300 Plaza Towers Elementary Students Sydney Angle and Kyle Davis Missing After Moore Tornado

Plaza Towers Elementary Student Kyle Davis Missing After Moore Tornado (Facebook)

UPDATE:  Kyle Davis has been identified as one of seven students who died at Plaza Towers Elementary School.

The families of Sydney Angle and Kyle Davis, students at Plaza Towers Elementary School, have released photographs of their loved ones. They are among 24 students who went missing when the school took a direct hit from the Moore tornado Monday afternoon. Seven youngsters drowned after water pipes burst beneath the rubble. Earlier we reported that Janae Hornsby, 9, was also reported missing by her father.

sydney angle plaza towers 300x224 Plaza Towers Elementary Students Sydney Angle and Kyle Davis Missing After Moore Tornado

Plaza Towers Elementary Students Sydney Angle Missing After Moore Tornado (Facebook)

The Medical Examiner said that 24 people were killed, with nine being children. Crews are still in a search and recovery mode, so the death toll could climb higher.

 

GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, Who Voted Against Sandy Aid, Says Oklahoma Aid ‘Totally Different’

300px Jim Inhofe%2C official photo portrait%2C 2007 GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, Who Voted Against Sandy Aid, Says Oklahoma Aid Totally Different

GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, Who Voted Against Sandy Aid, Says Oklahoma Aid ‘Totally Different’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sen. Jim Inhofe couldn’t sit back and watch Sen. Tom Coburn get all the attention for their position of holding tornado victims’ relief aid hostage in exchange for budget cuts. One word to describe James Inhofe — heartless.

He “rejected comparisons between federal aid for this disaster” and the superstorm Sandy relief package he voted against, the Washington Post reports,  saying it’s a “totally different” situation. Um, yeah, it’s different alright. One happened in New York/New Jersey, while the tornado occurred in Oklahoma.

He argued that the Sandy aid was filled with pork. If you call fixing roads pork, then I guess he’s right. When will these people recognize that there are elected to do the will of their constituents and not whatever they feel like doing? Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn and others didn’t have a problem voting to approve two wars, among other things. This smacks of a terrible double-standard in Washington D.C.

 GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, Who Voted Against Sandy Aid, Says Oklahoma Aid Totally Different

Nine-Year-Old Janae Hornsby Among Missing Plaza Towers Elementary Students

JANAE HORNSBY 226x300 Nine Year Old Janae Hornsby Among Missing Plaza Towers Elementary Students

Nine-Year-Old Janae Hornsby Among Missing Plaza Towers Elementary Students (Facebook)

SAD NEWS: Janae Hornsby identified as one of seven children to have drowned at Plaza Towers Elementary.

Nine-year-old Janae Hornsby is among the 24 kids missing at Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was leveled by a massive tornado that devastated Moore, Okla. The school took a direct hit from the EF-4 tornado Monday afternoon.

Janae Hornsby’s  devastated father, an Iraq war veteran, released photographs of her, saying she  ‘always has a smile on her face.’ Seven youngsters were found drowned on Monday night after water pipes burst beneath the rubble.

President Obama Signs Oklahoma Disaster Declaration in Aftermath of Moore Tornado

President Obama declared a major disaster in Oklahoma in the aftermath of the massive tornado that devastated Moore, killing 24, including seven children. The EF-4 tornado flattened entire neighborhoods, businesses and schools, including Plaza Towers Elementary School. President Obama has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery and rescue efforts. Individuals and businesses affected can apply for federal grants for temporary housing and home repairs.

Here’s full Oklahoma disaster declaration signed by President Obama:

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Oklahoma and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and tornadoes beginning on May 18, 2013, and continuing.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the counties of Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Sandy Coachman as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties may apply for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Sen. Tom Coburn Holds Oklahoma Constituents Hostage, Demands Budget Cuts or No Tornado Aid

300px Tom Coburn official portrait Sen. Tom Coburn Holds Oklahoma Constituents Hostage, Demands Budget Cuts or No Tornado Aid

Sen. Tom Coburn Holds Oklahoma Constituents Hostage, Demands Budget Cuts or No Tornado Aid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SHAMEFUL:  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is willing to hold his constituents in the face of a major tornado disaster in Moore, Okla., hostage by saying he won’t support disaster relief for his home state unless the budget is cut elsewhere. Given that he voted against Sandy relief aid for New York and New Jersey, I have to say he’s consistent, if anything. To echo Americablog, Tom Coburn is “taking his own constituents hostage as budget-cutting human shields.” Absolutely disgraceful to the Oklahomans killed, including scores of children.

CQ Roll Call reporter Jennifer Scholtes wrote for CQ.com Monday evening that Coburn said he would “absolutely” demand offsets for any federal aid that Congress provides.

Coburn added, Scholtes wrote, that it is too early to guess at a damage toll but that he knows for certain he will fight to make sure disaster funding that the federal government contributes is paid for. It’s a position he has taken repeatedly during his career when Congress debates emergency funding for disaster aid.

Scholtes points out that Coburn was one of 36 Republican senators who voted against disaster funding for Superstorm Sandy in January. Source

Isn’t it time for us to vote people like Tom Coburn out of office? He isn’t doing the will of his constituents. He’s doing his own thing in Washington D.C. I guess natural disasters couldn’t possibly hit Tom Coburn, Jim Inhofe and others directly, right? Just a thought, why won’t Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe propose cuts to subsidies given to their buddies in the oil industry? No-one should be surprised at their actions. They also tried to filibuster medical funds to 9/11 first responders.

 Sen. Tom Coburn Holds Oklahoma Constituents Hostage, Demands Budget Cuts or No Tornado Aid