NORMAN — The top headlines for Cleveland County for 2013 were the May tornadoes.
On May 19, several homes were damaged on Barker Drive near 168th Avenue Northeast and East Indian Hills Road and at 164th and Franklin Road after a tornado touched down on Lake Thunderbird in Norman around 6 p.m.
The spring storm packed a single tornado carrying hail and strong winds, injuring at least six people, with three in critical condition.
Several people lost their homes on 156th Avenue Northeast and East Franklin Road.
“I saw the tail of the storm coming toward me, so I drove to the casino,” resident Kenneth Lastinger said.
The only thing left standing was his porch. As he sorted through debris in his yard, he said he was glad his dog weathered the storm.
“He made it through in the demolished, blown-away house,” he said. “Praise the Lord.”
Less than 24 hours later, another tornado ripped through the area. On May 20, one of the most powerful tornadoes to ever hit Oklahoma formed near Newcastle at approximately 2:45 p.m.
At 3:01 p.m., a tornado emergency was issued for Moore and south Oklahoma City. Within minutes, the EF-5 tornado began carving its way through Moore leaving 24 dead, including seven children, and at least $2 billion in damages.
The tornado dissipated at 3:36 p.m. over Lake Stanley Draper.
Year in Photos - Photos By Kyle Phillips
Entertainment: Shortly after the tornado, several musicians hosted benefit concerts. The first was hosted by native Oklahoman Blake Shelton, “Healing in the Heartland,” which raised more than $6 million.
The concert was in Oklahoma City, and proceeds from ticket sales went to the United Way of Central Oklahoma. Shelton headlined the televised concert, which also included performances by Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire and Rascal Flatts, along with Usher, Darius Rucker and Luke Bryan.