I cannot begin to comprehend what those folks are experiencing: the overwhelming loss, the grief, the numbness, the shock, the helplessness, the anger.
Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, said the death toll is expected to rise. Oklahoma City Police say seven of those deaths were children at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was hit by the tornado, Fox 25 reports. Oklahoma police also told Fox News’ Casey Stegall, on the ground in Moore, Okla., that at least four people were killed at a 7-11 convenience store.
Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, which is south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.
OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger said the hospital and a nearby children’s hospital are treating approximately 85 patients, including 65 children, with conditions ranging from minor injuries to critical.
Integris Southwest Medical Center spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said 10 of 37 patients being treated at that facility Monday are listed in critical condition. Twelve are in serious and 15 others are listed in fair or good condition.
Cayot said five of the patients at Integris are children, including two who came from the Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Search and rescue crews are now looking for anyone who may be trapped in the rubble. Aerial flyovers showed crowds of residents picking through debris Monday afternoon, while one resident told Fox News that children were trapped under cars at an elementary school.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said in a news conference that “hearts are broken” for parents wondering about the fate of their children, and search and rescue efforts will continue throughout the night.
Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, one of two schools hit, suffered “extensive damage,” according to Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
At the Plaza Towers Elementary School, students were hugging and clinging to the walls of the school as the tornado passed over, KFOR reports.
An Associated Press photographer saw several children being pulled out of what was left of the school. The school’s roof appeared mangled and the walls had fallen in or had collapsed.
Rescue workers lifted children from the rubble before they were passed down a human chain and taken to a triage center set up in the school’s parking lot.
There are 24 students believed to be in the rubble at the school, but the report could not be confirmed.
A Norman, Okla. regional health system spokesperson also told Fox News that Moore Medical Center, the only hospital in the city, also suffered “extensive structural damage,” as the tornado demolished the second floor of the hospital and tore off part of the roof.
The center evacuated 30 patients to two other hospitals in Norman, Okla.
The National Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, with the first tornado warning coming 16 minutes before it touched down. The preliminary damage rating on the enhanced fujita scale was EF4 — the second most-powerful type of twister — and carved a 20-mile path through Newcastle, Moore and South Oklahoma City.
While most of America remained in shock over the horrible fate of the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island, viewed the tragic loss of human life as nothing more than a political opportunity.
So, you may have a question for me. Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.
You drag America with you to your fate. So, I want this future: I want a Republican Party that has returned to its senses and is strong and a worthy adversary in a strong America that has done right by its people and the world. That’s what I want. I don’t want this future. I don’t want a Republican Party disgraced, that let its extremists run off the cliff, and an America suffering from grave economic and environmental and diplomatic damage because we failed, because we didn’t wake up and do our duty to our people, and because we didn’t lead the world. I do not want that future. But that’s where we’re headed. So I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.
Global Warming did not cause that killer tornado, Senator. And, you know it.
Just as your messiah, President Barack Hussein Obama, continues to use the murders of those precious children at Sandy Hook Elementary, by a psychopath, to justify his failing attempt to take away guns from law-abiding Americans, now you are attempting to use this tragedy to further the myth of Global Warming and your own (judging from that vitriol-laden speech) limited political career.
Your Political Party’s heinous politicization of these tragedies, involving America’s innocents, continues to backfire on you guys, but you’re too self-righteous to figure out why.
The answer is simple:
America is not one collective hive-mind. We are a nation of individuals. And, as such, the overwhelming majority of us have been taught by our parents to value and cherish human life.
That’s why you are experiencing a blowback against your love of abortion and your politicization of tragedies.
Valuing life is not a political thing. It is a human thing…and an American Heritage.
A Heritage which hive-mind Liberals such as yourself, Senator, will never understand.
It is way above your pay grade.
And, that is why you fail.
America’s prayers are with the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma….
May God hold them in the hollow of His hand. Amen.
Until He Comes,