The Norman Transcript

Local news

May 21, 2013

Theater guests, staff take cover then help others

MOORE — Derrick Young could feel it.

Before even hearing the massive tornado that ripped through the walls, obliterated the windows and chewed through the Warren Theater in Moore where he works as a team member, Young said he could feel it. Huddled in the hallways with dozens of terrified moviegoers, Young felt the ground shake as the EF-5 tornado that devastated Moore made its way across the Warren plaza, leveling homes, offices and a bowling alley while crippling the theater and the Moore Medical Center.

“The warnings started popping up, and it didn’t last long before it hit,” the 20-year-old Oklahoma City native said. “We evacuated all the guests and we were crowded in both hallways standing shoulder to shoulder. Then everything started vibrating and shaking, and then you could hear just everything hitting the building.”

The tornado didn’t stop with the theater. It built in strength and continued to weave a path of destruction through Moore eerily similar to the May 3rd, 1999 tornado that leveled major parts of the city, killing 43 and causing more than a billion dollars in damage.

By the time the twister — which at its apex created a debris field two miles wide — finally lifted near Lake Stanley Draper, it had destroyed dozens of homes and business and killed at least 51 people, many of whom were children who were killed as the tornado passed through and destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School. It was a level of devastation not seen in Oklahoma in 14 years and one that will serve as the new benchmark of the terror severe storms can create.

Not that Young and his colleagues knew that as they emerged from the innards of the theater to find buildings ruined and cars and other debris wrapped around anything and everything in the tornado’s path. All they knew was a feeling of despair that didn’t abate as they wandered around the war zone that had once been a hospital parking lot.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Solar cars 7 Solar cars use Norman area during pit stop

    Flat, low to the ground with reflective panels and bright colors, these moving vehicles look more like cartoon spaceships than solar race cars. But these funny looking cars represent exactly what the American Solar Challenge (ASC) ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Motorcyclist injured in collision

    A motorcyclist was injured in a collision Tuesday night in Norman....

    July 23, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 1:37 a.m. stolen vehicle, 2100 block of West Brooks Street · 6:27 a.m. larceny report, 200 block of Driftwood Drive · 8:58 a.m. harassment or threats report, 1200 ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Linda Marquez, 36, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, driving a motor vehicle under the influence of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

    A Norman woman was charged Tuesday with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury over the weekend in Moore. Linda Marquez, 36, also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014