Tornado Alley Gets Hit Hard This Season

Megan O'Leary, Staff Writer

The devastating events taking place in Oklahoma this week have been on everyone’s minds. They haven’t see this big of a tornado since 1999. Oklahoma, being right in the center ‘Tornado Alley’, knows that this may not be the last one of the season.

Tornado season takes place usually from the beginning of April to about the end of June. The most common place they hit would be know as “Tornado Alley.” According to the Weather channel they say that is, ” the region of the United States often visited in late spring and early summer by dangerous, sometimes violent, tornadoes.” They state that the center of it all, and the most common is North Texes, Oklahoma, Kansas, east Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Not all tornados that touch down are violent. There is a scale called the EF scale that rates the strength of tornadoes and the damage they cause. Here is the scale:

Scale Wind speed
Example of damage
mph km/h
EF0 65–85 105–137 EF0 damage example
EF1 86–110 138–178 EF1 damage example
EF2 111–135 179–218 EF2 damage example
EF3 136–165 219–266 EF3 damage example
EF4 166–200 267–322 EF4 damage example
EF5 >200 >322 EF5 damage example

Last week, Northern Texas was hit by at least 10 in just one night, but Granbury was hit hard. Tornadoes touched down in the towns of Cleburne and Millsap and around Dallas and Fort Worth, leaving damaged homes and landscape. The National Weather Service classified the Granbury storm as an EF-4. The Damage was severe, but leaving at least 6 dead.

The city hit this week was Moore, OK. Moore was the site of one of the most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history. An EF-5 tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City-area May 3, 1999, killing 42 people.

When they thought they would never experience another, they were hit at the beginning of this week with a EF4, causing horrible damage. Monday and Tuesday, the death toll went wild, starting at 2, then 32, and finally 51.

News stations report that about a half a dozen Moore’s Plaza Towers elementary kids were killed in the Tornado, crushed under the school collapsing on top of them. It wasn’t until yesterday that fire fighter and the National Guard were able to dig through the rubble  to find that teachers and parents had thrown themselves in front of the kids and were just trapped under all the rubble.

Thankfully, in the past two days, they have lowered the toll to 24, 9 of them children from Plaza Towers Elementary.