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May 7, 1999 — NOAA's National Weather Service personnel have been surveying the damage from the tornadoes that devastated parts of Oklahoma and Kansas. The Oklahoma City metro area was struck by an F5 twister; the first time on record that's ever happened. See the dramatic photos sent back from ground zero.

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Photos were taken by Curtis Carey, NOAA's National Weather Service public affairs. These photos are in the public domain and can be used by others. Please credit NOAA.

Oklahoma Tornado DestructionA concrete welcome sign (foreground) lies in front of a devastated Moore, Okla., home. An estimated 1,500 homes in Moore were destroyed. There were 41 fatalities across Oklahoma from the May 3, 1999 tornado outbreak-the deadliest outbreak in Oklahoma in 50 years.



Oklahoma Tornado DestructionA mobile home frame lies in a ditch in Grady County, Okla. Several dozen mobile homes in the area disintegrated in the fury of the F-5 tornado. Eleven Grady County residents perished.




Oklahoma Tornado DestructionAn F-5 tornado wrapped a large four-wheel drive pickup around a utility pole, stripping most of the truck's sheet metal. Several other automobiles were strewn through the surrounding fields.




Oklahoma Tornado DestructionThe Turner family in Grady County, Okla., try to recover some of their belongings. They credited their survival with advance warnings. After telling neighbors to join them they crammed 35 people into a storm cellar. The winds from the F-5 tornado pulled the door off the cellar, but all survived.



Oklahoma Tornado DestructionTotal Destruction. Dan Cary, Cleveland County Emergency Manager, surveys the damage. Moore, Okla. suffered some of the worst destruction during the May 3, 1999, Oklahoma tornado outbreak when an F-5 tornado ripped through the town in the early evening hours. The tornado traveled 40 miles through several towns. Despite the devastation in this neighborhood, National Weather Service tornado warnings presented to the public by local TV meteorologists were credited with saving many lives.

Get more information by visiting the Web site of NOAA's Norman, Oklahoma, National Weather Service forecast office.

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