Although suburban Moore, Okla., was devastated Monday by a 2-mile-wide tornado that left 24 people confirmed dead, Oklahoma City suffered minimal damage and remains open to visitors, according to the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The highways surrounding Oklahoma City, I-40, I-35 and I-44, are opened, as is the Oklahoma City Will Rogers Airport,” Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau President Mike Carrier said in a message on the organization’s website. “Area hotels are full with normal business and displaced individuals from the storm. Our office is working to obtain information from as many hotels as possible on availability.”
Monday’s tornado — the deadliest U.S. tornado since 2011, when a twister killed 161 people in Joplin, Mo. — ravaged Moore with winds of up to 200 miles per hour, the result of which was loss of life and property. According to media reports, the latter could top $2 billion.
The Moore tornado was one of several reported this week in Oklahoma. At least four more touched down in central Oklahoma Sunday, including one near Shawnee, Okla., that destroyed a mobile home community and killed at least two.
“Our hearts are heavy following the devastation of the past two days in the nearby communities of Moore and Shawnee. As Oklahomans, we are all too acquainted with tragedy, but our emergency services personnel are among the best in the country and they are as prepared as any can be for these challenges,” Carrier said. “Oklahomans have long responded to events of this nature with what has become known as the Oklahoma Standard. Our people are strong and resilient. We help our neighbors and those in need with no expectation of recognition. It’s just how we operate here. And while so many of the reports and images are heartbreaking, demonstrations of the Oklahoma Standard are all around us as well.
“Thank you to all who have reached out to check on the CVB team. We are all safe and have suffered minimal damage. We ask for your prayers for our people — the survivors, the families of the victims and our community leaders who are providing such outstanding coordination of the rescue and recovery efforts.”
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