Fifty Minutes

The tornado touched down in Moore, OK on May 20. It stayed on the ground for approximately 50 minutes.

I get my daily doses of news from the radio & mobile news summary during my 1.5-hour commute, each way. When you were simply listening to a narrative of what happened, it was hard to grasp the severity of devastation in Moore at first. As my car inched along in highway traffic, I heard this apparently common practice described matter-of-factly,

They have to actually post street signs so people can recognize where the streets are.

The realization hit me so hard that I sucked in my breath.




Moore Tordano

 (Photo credit:


This is what happened after a tornado cut through a 1.3-mile wide and 17-mile long destructive track.

I have not been able to look at the images and video footage until now. I still can’t look at the photos of children being carried out from the decimated schools with piles of unrecognizable debris in the background without suffering an attack of guilt + anxiety. It’s not that we live in Tornado Alley, of course. I hear these stories of how some parents had made the judgment (and which turned out to be right) call to pick their kids up from the schools that collapsed. I was happy for them, glad to hear the good news in the midst of everything, yet a voice says, “You would not have made it in time if it happened here.”


The first funeral for one of the 24 victims was held yesterday. Her name was Antonia Candelaria. She was 9. Antonia, or Tonie as she was called, was found in the rubble with her best friend,  Emily Conatzer.

If you are thinking of making a (or more) donation, in addition to Red Cross, OK Governor has established the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund, in coordination with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, to assist with the long-term needs of victims.


Article by Absence Alternatives

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Meg at the Members Lounge May 26, 2013, 10:41 pm

    This was 2 hours north of where I now live. I am always on high alert now that I live in the DFW area, but Oklahoma is truly in the alley of disaster. My heart breaks for what they went through in Moore, the town is determined to rebuild; hopefully adding some underground shelters for their schools. Add me to the list that donated!
    Meg at the Members Lounge´s last blog post…Potpourri for $100

    • Absence Alternatives June 4, 2013, 9:45 am

      Hi, Meg, sorry that it took me so long to respond to your comment. Do you know any non-profit organization that is taking funds for building shelters for schools? At times like this I am always torn wrt. which org I should send my money too. Red Cross is obviously a respected org but I doubt they move quickly enough. It’s always nice to get recommendations from ppl who have local ties.

  • Vanilla North May 27, 2013, 2:22 am

    Wow… 🙁
    i had to stop for a moment what l was doing, shift my eyes to the side to concentrate and really realize that 50 minutes is a lot of minutes of fear, chaos and destruction…. For that matter, 1 minute is a lot also…
    My prayers to all…

    • Absence Alternatives June 4, 2013, 9:46 am

      Yup. I had to really stop and think about it to begin to understand just a tiny bit of the magnitude of this. I can’t imagine what it’s like…

  • dufmanno June 10, 2013, 8:33 am

    Something that large, terrifying and unpredictable bearing down on your life with such ferocity for fifty minutes must be unbearable. I can’t even imagine..
    dufmanno´s last blog post…Big Things For Small People

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