Terror and courage at Oklahoma school

Survivors: A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, and passed along to rescuers

Rescuers pull a girl from the rubble of her elementary school

Plaza Towers Elementary School was leveled by the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma. Seven children drowned in the basement of the school.  Teachers shielded students with their bodies.

“We had to pull a car off a teacher and she had three little kids underneath her,” one first responder, in tears, told KFOR. “Good job, teach.”

“I was on top of six kids,” one sixth grade teacher said, working her way across the rubble. “I was lying on top. All of mine are OK.”

Teachers helped tear through several feet of rubble to rescue sobbing students, some of them injured.

The death toll in Oklahoma now stands at 24, including nine children.

About Joanne


  1. Florida resident says:

    CNN (not a conservative source of opinion):
    “… Mike Barnett, a custom homebuilder in the area [Oklahoma] for 37 years, estimated that some 2% of residents have basements, and 10% to 15% “have some kind of cellar.”

    None of the homes in his partially completed, 51-house development, called Autumn Oaks, has a basement, he said. Though it was spared Monday’s storms, “a block north of us it looks like Bosnia,” he said. He plans to build a community shelter that would accommodate all of its residents.

    Alternatives exist: An above-ground shelter runs $8,000 to $10,000; a small basement would cost $15,000 to $20,000; and a concrete cellar built during new-house construction would cost as little as $2,200, said Barnett. …”

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Soil in that area makes underground structures,even basements, tough to maintain. Clay, much of the time, expands and contracts according to moisture, cracking even on-ground slabs.
      Water table is pretty high, some places.
      There’s a reason most homes in, say, Michigan have basements and in Oklahoma not so much, Got nothing to do with money or red necks.

      • Florida resident says:

        Dear Richard Aubrey;
        Thank you for your reaction.
        Here in Florida we also do not have basements,
        supposedly due to high water table.
        Your F.r.

        • Florida resident says:

          However, tho think about it, our (with my wife) yard has a pool, about 8 feet deep and 20 feet long.
          It stays OK since the previous owners of the house built it 35 years ago; we live in the house for the last 18 years.

          Most respectful regards to heroic Ms. Jacobs.
          Your F.r.

  2. The Joplin Home Depot was rebuilt with a safe room for 150 and the new Joplin high school will also have a safe room. In the meantime, it seems residents of tornado alley need some of those little concrete bunkers in their backyards, until someone figures out how to cheaply make a tornado shelter underground that will last for a few hours.