24 Dead in Okla. Tornado; Residents Picking Up the Pieces

Posted at: 05/20/2013 5:19 PM
Updated at: 05/22/2013 9:10 AM

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MOORE, Okla. (AP) - The residents of Moore, Okla., affected by a deadly tornado are coming back to find their belongings scattered and their homes left in pieces.

Monday's tornado killed at least 24 people, countless homes and reduced one elementary school almost entirely to rubble. While officials still grapple with how to rebuild and how to pay for it, people in this Oklahoma City suburb are anxious to start the process of rebuilding.

Colleen Arvin, an 83-year-old grandmother, walked with her son and grandsons through what was left of her home. Part of her roof was sitting in the front yard, and the siding from the front of the house was gone.

She laughed when a grandson found her keys. She said: "Oh thank God. We can get in the house."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)  

Okla. Senator Says Tornado Aid Should Be Paid For

Conservative Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn says that any additional federal aid to help tornado victims and to rebuild devastated areas of his state should be financed with cuts to other programs in the government's $3.6 trillion budget.

Spokesman John Hart says it's a position Coburn has consistently held regarding federal spending on disasters dating to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

But federal disaster aid such as $60 billion passed earlier this year to rebuild coastal states including New York and New Jersey from Superstorm Sandy typically is approved as "emergency" spending that is simply added to the budget deficit.

That may happen again if more aid is need for Oklahoma.

Federal disaster aid coffers remain flush from the infusion of Sandy aid.

Missouri City Aids Tornado-Ravaged Okla. Town

Officials in Joplin, Mo., have brought together a team of public safety employees they are sending to tornado-stricken Moore.

Joplin was devastated by a tornado two years ago that killed 158 people and injured hundreds more. On Monday, Joplin organized a team of about a dozen police and firefighters to assist in Moore.

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr says his community remembers the assistance it received in 2011 and feels an obligation to lend a hand in Moore.

The team from Joplin is to conduct a needs assessment and help determine areas in which Moore needs further assistance.

Joplin will also work to provide other assistance, Rohr said.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)