May 22nd, 2013
04:49 PM ET

Heartbreak, hope and healing in the aftermath of Oklahoma tornado

  • We're learning more about the people hit by the devastating EF-5 tornado that smashed through Oklahoma on Monday, killing 24 people
  • Many of the dead have now been identified and residents are returning to ruined homes to see what's left
  • We'll bring you the latest news and images from the scene here, and you can read CNN's full story here

[Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET] Moore, Oklahoma, Mayor Glenn Lewis said Wednesday that the six people missing from this week's tornado have been accounted for. Five were found alive. The sixth was located at the Medical Examiner's Office and is presumed dead. The mayor was not sure whether the death was in addition to the 24 already reported, or whether it would raise the overall toll to 25.

[Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET] About 4,000 insurance claims have been filed so far in the tornado and storm that rocked the Oklahoma City area on Monday, said Kelly Collins, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma insurance commissioner.

[Updated at 2:26 p.m. ET] CNN's John King has just been taken around the ruins of Plaza Towers Elementary School where seven children were killed. "It's numbing and it's sad," he said. "It's gone. The neighborhood around it is gone."

But given the scale of devastation, it's notable how many were saved. "It’s a miracle that the death toll wasn’t higher," King said.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET] Yesterday we told you NBA star Kevin Durant had donated $1 million to the Red Cross. And today he paid them a visit.


[Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET] Residents have been showing our CNN colleagues what is left of their homes. These are the dreadful kind of scenes that will greet so many in the coming days.



[Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET] Six adults are still unaccounted for after the tornado struck Moore, Albert Ashwood with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management told CNN's Nick Valencia.

[Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET] Residents of Moore will be allowed back into their neighborhoods as of 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) today, Mayor Glenn Lewis said. Light vehicles will be allowed but heavy equipment, trailers and satellite trucks will be prohibited, he added.

[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET] President Obama will travel to Oklahoma on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced.

[Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET] Earlier today CNN's Pamela Brown shared the survival story of Candace Phillips and her newborn son.

[Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET] Roads and public areas are being cleared as the recovery in Moore begins, Gov. Mary Fallin said.

But the most devastated parts of Moore are still off-limits to residents, CNN's John King reports. It's just too dangerous right now, he tweeted.


[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] Those neighbors who have are helping those who've lost all that they own. CNN's Kyung Lah found  people leaving and collecting essential supplies in Moore, Oklahoma.



[Updated at 11:42 a.m. ET] We've learned the names of 18 of the 24 people known to have died in the tornado Monday. Some were babies,  just months old, according to the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. Then there were the children who died in their ravaged elementary school. And adults – parents and grandparents.

Here are the names of those who lost their lives. We'll bring you more about who they were when we know it.

Terri Long, 49 years old.

Megan Futrell, 29 years old.

Case Futrell, 4 months old.

Shannon Quick, 40 years old.

Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months old.

Karrina Vargyas, 4 years old.

Jenny Neely, 38 years old.

Antonia Canderaria, 9 years old.

Kyle Davis. 8 years old. Kyle was a force on the soccer field, nicknamed "The Wall." 

Jenae Hornsby, 9 years old. Jenae was "a ball of energy, a ball of love," her father, Joshua, said.

Sydney Angle, 9 years old.

Emily Conatzer, 9 years old.

Nicolas McCabe, 9 years old.

Christopher Legg, 9 years old.

Cindy Plumley.

Deanna Ward.

Hemant Bhonde.

Tawuana Robinson.

[Updated 11:26 a.m. ET] About 2,700 insurance claims have been filed so far for tornado and storm damage, Oklahoma's Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. He expects more to be filed.

[Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET] A total of 324 people are now known to have been hurt in Monday's tornado, Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted.


If you're looking to help those affected, remember to go to where we've got details of organizations who are working in Moore and the other badly-hit areas.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornadoes
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    "some who died were babies". nothing is more heart wrenching than news like these. Our prayers & thoughts are with those families.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat


    May 22, 2013 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    seems to me my posts go somewhere to be vetted and scrutinized before CNN releases them if at all, eh CNN?

    May 22, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynne Sullivan

      I never see any of my posts on here.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Not so intelligent

    I listened on CNN as this tornado was unfolding before my eyes. This young woman called in to Robin Meade and said she was looking for her mom and gave this name. Tawuana Robinson. So sad. I was hoping she would be one of the found. My heart goes out to all.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lynne Sullivan

    That was the first.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cory

    Oklahoma people always stick 2gether! God bless all

    May 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    This story just breaks my heart! I would give everything i have if i could take away their pain! And it saddens me terribly that people would use this tragic event to shove their political propoganda down our throats! This is neither the time nor place!

    May 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sprout books

    whatever, obama is another 'do nothing' he does this trips as a publicity stunt and nothing will come of it. That's what dictators do.

    May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      grow the f up

      May 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    Ty @ cedar rapids and @ oklahomasickofpolitics! That is exactly what i mean. Life is to short to waste one minute on hatefulness! In other words anger is the biggest waste of time in the world!

    May 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cjacja

    It's to bad this happens but it is predictable in that we know it will happen again. They ned to seriously re-think building codes. I'm looking at how those houses came apart, much could be improved. Yes it might add $10,000 to the price of a new house. Big deal. Every rafter needs a metal tie to the wall, every wall needs 3/4" sheathing over the studs clear down to the foundations and there needs to be bolts cast into the foundation. Then add shear resistance to the ceiling. Most could survive. Most of the failures I see are just that the nailed fastening blew apart.

    May 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OK on my mind

    Asking if the deaths could be prevented? Really? Right now? Whyare you asking this now?

    Sure they could be prevented. Those people could have lived in China, where there are no tornados, but they didn't.

    If you are looking to place blame, shame on you!

    Why not report on advances in storm and shelter research and development?

    Help solve problems, not contribute to their impact!

    You (WE) are better than that!

    May 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bankrupt1

    condolences to the families.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Agusta Wind

    @ OK on my mind, I think asking if these deaths could have been prevented IS helping. And yes they could have. Knowing it doesn't cost an arm and leg to build a underground shelter would be the first step in my opinion.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ronvan

    NOT trying to be nasty or unsympathitic, this was definitely a tragedy! BUT, as reported, this is the 3rd time this town has been ripped apart by a tornado? WHAT did you learn from 1 & 2? Sadly, and unbelievable, for me, is that I have heard now, 2 statements, from officials that stated, after the 2nd there was talk about putting "safe rooms" in the schools", but were dropped because of MONEY! Now after this 3rd tornado they are saying the same thing!? They would rather "roll the dice" and HOPE another one never hits, than to protect themselves and their children! I really cannot understand WHY people who are "in the line of fire" DO NOT try and protect themselves?

    May 25, 2013 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |