Please Donate to Oklahoma Tornado Relief Here (Salvation Army)
I’ve been outside much of the day and am just hearing about the mile-wide probable EF4 tornado that sent 160-200MPH winds through Oklahoma City for almost an hour today. This is unimaginable to me. Photos already coming out from Oklahoma City and Moore show piles of cars, smashed buildings, bizarrely naked plains that were once neighborhoods. The word “devastation” does not really seem big enough. You can see a time-lapse video of the tornado’s progression here. It is astounding. We are hearing reporters and locals break up in tears as they talk to local and national news anchors. And if you’ve seen some photos and footage, you’re probably feeling the same way.
Frighteningly, storms capable of producing tornadoes continue to roll east, across portions of Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri—all three states dear to my heart for many reasons, not least because they’re all Route 66 states. This is the heartland indeed—and the people in these places are just so wonderful.
Looking at the radar right now, there are the blotches of deep red, orange, and hot pink that so unnerve anyone familiar with radar, and the band is rolling right up the 66 corridor. I’ve all sorts of friends here and days like this leave me physically ill with worry, as I’m sure they do so many of you.
Folks on Twitter are telling me that the debris ball dragging along with the tornado is suspected to have been two miles wide. At least two schools have collapsed, with children still inside, because of these storms. As you can imagine, many are still trapped. I think of the parents and grandparents and the terror of these little tykes and it’s crushing. Roads are blocked with debris and traffic; authorities are asking helicopters not to fly over the area so rescuers can hear cries for help from those trapped beneath the debris.
Please, please keep the people of these states in your prayers, particularly those of Oklahoma City. Please pray, too, that those in the line of these storms pay attention to warnings and to the skies so they may take shelter in time.
I’m waiting to see what some of my favourite charities are doing and if they are setting up funds (after Katrina, I just do not trust the Red Cross with my donations anymore) and will keep you posted. I do know that the Salvation Army is taking Oklahoma City tornado donations here, and that’s a good place to start. Thanks, everyone.