The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 8, 2014

Storm summit comes to town

NORMAN — Experts will come from near and far for the National Tornado Summit on Monday and Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Garden in Oklahoma City. Two Norman meteorologists will be among those making presentations.

Local meteorologists Rick Smith and Harold Brooks with NOAA will share what they learned after visiting Norman area schools. Smith and Brooks, who both have children who attend Norman Public Schools, worked with other team members to assess tornado preparedness and safety in Norman Public Schools, Little Axe and Robin Hill.

Smith is a warning coordination meteorologist. He said Brooks will look at the historical perspective of tornadoes in schools nationally and in Oklahoma.

“Tornado deaths in schools are exceptionally rare,” compared to some other risks, Smith said.

Smith said he became interested in helping Norman school officials update tornado plans because he has a child who attends Whittier Middle School. Until recently, Whittier also served as a public shelter. Now city leaders are asking that people shelter in place and make a family plan.

All previously designated public shelters in Norman have been closed and will no longer be an option. When Whittier was built, it had a berm and was considered partially underground, which people believed would make it safer during a storm and more energy efficient.

“Whittier was never engineered to be a public shelter, and the berm is gone,” Smith said.

Like many schools, the floorplan has changed over time.

“Several of the plans needed to be revisited because of updates and additions,” he said. “The Moore Emergency Manager did a similar exercise for his schools, I believe.”

The team, which included a structural engineer, analyzed school buildings for the safest and best places for children, teachers and staff to shelter during a tornado.

Smith’s area of expertise is early warning.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Ride CART fare free on Ozone Alert Day

    Environmental officials have declared today as an Ozone Alert Day. Passengers ride fare free on Cleveland Area Rapid Transit on Ozone Alert Days....

    July 24, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Arizona inmate dies two hours after execution begins

    PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S....

    July 24, 2014

  • Man injured in motorcycle wreck ID’d

    Norman police identified a man transported to Norman Regional Hospital’s emergency room after a two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and a car Wednesday....

    July 24, 2014

  • Wine, Organ and Compline at St. Thomas More

    St. Thomas More University Parish, 100 Stinson St., is hosting the Wine, Organ and Compline at 7 p.m. today. The series will begin with a wine and cheese gathering in the atrium, followed by an organ recital presented by guest organist ...

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead after Taiwan plane crash

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island today where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following persons were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Kenneth Leo Turk, 64, aggravated count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol · Kelly Revonn Turner, 21, ...

    July 24, 2014