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Oklahoma has become known as “Tornado Alley” due to the high occurrence of tornadoes each year in the state. In fact, Oklahoma has experienced more tornadoes than any other state in the U.S. since record-keeping began in 1950. This leads to a rich history when it comes to tornadoes in Oklahoma.

One of the deadliest tornadoes in Oklahoma’s history occurred on May 3, 1999. Dubbed “The Bridge Creek-Moore Tornado,” this EF-5 tornado caused 36 deaths and more than $1 billion in damages. It was estimated to have reached wind speeds of over 300 miles per hour, making it one of the most violent tornadoes in history.

Another devastating tornado occurred on May 20, 2013, when an EF-5 tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma. It claimed 24 lives and left many others injured, as well as causing damage to thousands of homes and other structures.

Despite these tragedies, Oklahoma has made great strides in its approaches to tornado safety and preparedness. Tornado sirens have become commonplace throughout the state, and advancements in technology have allowed for earlier tornado warnings and better communication between emergency officials and residents.

Tornado history in Oklahoma dates back even further than the more recent devastating events. The earliest recorded tornado in Oklahoma occurred on August 18, 1898, in the town of Kingston. This tornado killed five people and caused significant damage.

However, Oklahoma’s deadliest tornado prior to modern record-keeping occurred on April 9, 1947. This tornado, which is now classified as an F5, claimed 181 lives and caused massive destruction. The town of Woodward was hit the hardest, with 107 deaths attributed to the tornado.

Despite the devastation tornadoes have wrought in Oklahoma’s history, they have also inspired bravery and resilience in the face of disaster. This was seen firsthand during the outbreak of tornadoes that occurred from May 18-20, 2013. In the wake of the storms, city officials, volunteers, and rescue workers worked tirelessly to provide aid and assistance to those in need.

Overall, while Oklahoma has certainly had its share of destructive tornadoes, it is important to remember that the state’s residents have shown remarkable strength and resourcefulness in the face of disaster. Oklahoma’s tornado history is a testament to both the destructive power of nature and the human spirit’s ability to persevere in the face of adversity.