Text Us: #30930
Phone: (800) 616 WBEN
Business: (716) 843-0600
A   A   A

WBEN Extra: Oklahoma Tornadoes

Stay with WBEN for the latest as a nation responds and Oklahoma recovers after tornados devastated Moore OK, and other areas near Oklahoma City

Friday Morning in Moore Okla
On The
WBEN Liveline
CBS's Stephen Kaufman

Friends and family are attending funeral services for a 9-year-old girl killed by Monday's tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb.

Thursday's funeral for Antonia Candelaria was the first since the storm that killed 24 people. Ten of the victims were children.

Relatives and friends huddling under umbrellas amid a downpour hurried into a chapel where mournful country songs played. The front of the chapel was filled with photos of a smiling Antonia.

Candelaria was one of seven children who perished when the tornado flattened an elementary school in the city of Moore.

A family photo released by her mother shows the girl beaming with a big smile and wearing a white sun hat.

Authorities say the tornado caused $2 billion in damage and destroyed or damaged up to 13,000 homes.


  After disaster upon disaster  appeals are made to raise funds for relief efforts. But after this disaster in Oklahoma, is there such a thing as giving fatigue?

"I don't know if I'd call it giving fatigue so much," says Nancy Blaschak,  WNY regional director of  the American Red Cross.

"Certainly after we see a run of disasters we get to the end of it, and people may not make as many gifts as they've had."   
Do you donate to disaster relief funds?
( 6% )
( 35% )
( 59% )

RELIEF EFFORTS UNDERWAY- See a List of Groups That Want Your Help

Exclusive WBEN Audio

Michael Weiner, Exec. Director,
United Way of Buffalo & Erie Co.

Thursday Morning
in Moore Oklahoma

On The WBEN Liveline
CBS' Steve Futterman

UPDATED DEATH TOLL:  One more child was added to the list of fatalities after the Tornado destroyed the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore Oklahoma, bringing the total to 9.

Small children were pulled lifeless from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School after a monstrous tornado raked across the building, leaving the one-story building a heap of bricks, broken concrete and twisted metal. In all 24 people were killed when Monday's storm ravaged Oklahoma.

AP PhotoAs state & federal officials work to set up disaster recovery centers,  residents of Moore are beginning the deliberate process of assessing what's left of their homes and possessions and what comes next.  

Officials Wednesday were still figuring out what's needed: Will homes be rebuilt or torn down? Where will the children go to school?  How much will it all cost?

Helmeted rescue workers have been searching tirelessly for survivors and victims, and officials said Tuesday they planned to keep going - sometimes double- and triple-checking home sites. Officials were not certain of how many homes were destroyed or how many families had been displaced.

Emergency crews had trouble navigating devastated neighborhoods because there were no street signs left. Some rescuers used smartphones or GPS devices to guide them through areas with no recognizable landmarks.

AP Photo A combination of geography, meteorology and lots of bad luck, make tornado alley unlike any other place on earth.

HEAR John & Susan With The Weather Channel's Tom Niziol, (Pictured above) former chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Buffalo office.  

READ The Anatomy of Tornados

Relief efforts are underway.  Here are some organizations that are accepting donations:

American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund:  Click HERE to donate online.  You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to immediately donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Fund.

Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief:  The Oklahoma Baptist Convention says donations will "help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters."  Click  HERE  for more or to donate

You can send checks to: BGCO  Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK. 73112
Salvation Army - The Salvation Army is deploying mobile kitchens that can serve to 2,500 people a day.  Click HERE to donate via their website. 

You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation from your mobile phone.  

You can also donate to the Salvation Army via check

Put the words "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check, and mail to:
The Salvation Army
P.O. Box 12600
Oklahoma City, OK.  73157.
Phone:  1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Feeding America - Feeding America says it will utilize a network of  200 foodbanks to deliver food and supplies.  Click HERE for their website.  

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma - Text the word FOOD to 32333 to donate $10 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

AP PhotoHospital officials say they've treated more than 200 patients, including dozens of children, since a tornado hit an Oklahoma City suburb.

Dozens of patients remained hospitalized Tuesday following Monday's storms that health officials said led to more than 200 injuries.

Norman Regional Hospital spokeswoman Melissa Herron said 20 of the more than 100 patients her hospital treated remained hospitalized.

Spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said about 20 of the 90 patients seen at Integris Southwest Medical Center also remained at the hospital.

OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger says his hospital has treated 93 people, including 59 children, since a round of storms Sunday. Twenty patients remained hospitalized Tuesday.

St. Anthony Hospital spokeswoman Sandra Payne says her hospital and affiliated facilities have seen 36 patients. All were transferred or being released.

AP PhotoThe Tornado: Through the Eyes of a Photographer

"By the time I reached Moore, all I could see was destruction. I walked toward a group of people standing by a heaping mound of rubble too big to be a home. There were a lot of kids lined up on the sidewalk. A woman told me it had been a school.


This is the week first responders receive recognition for their work, whether routine like first aid, or a disaster like the tornado in Oklahoma. It's EMS Week in Erie County.

Training never stops, according to Erie County Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth, Jr. "These are the people who will handle triage, search and rescue, it's a total package," says Neaverth. "It's about the training for the worst case scenario, hoping for the best."   READ MORE

Spotlights bore down on massive piles of shredded cinder block, insulation and metal as crews worked through the night early Tuesday lifting bricks and parts of collapsed walls where a monstrous tornado barreled through the Oklahoma City suburbs, demolishing an elementary school and reducing homes to piles of splintered wood.

 The storm left scores of blocks in Moore barren and dark. Rescuers walked through neighborhoods where Monday's powerful twister flattened homes 

Above:  Before and After in Moore Oklahoma (AP Photos)

Obama to tornado victims: You face long road ahead but will not travel path alone.     The president had remarks about the tornado damage Tuesday morning. Hear Them Here

NEW DEATH TOLL:  The state medical examiner's office has revised the death toll to 24 people, including seven children.  

Spokeswoman Amy Elliot said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm. Authorities said initially that as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.

Teams are continuing to search the rubble in Moore, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, after the Monday afternoon tornado.

The Sounds of Devastation
as captured by KWTV in Oklahoma City

Two Tornado Torn Schools : Pictures from the scene SEE THEM HERE 
WANT TO HELP?:  See a list of relief agencies below 


at Left:
LIVE  broadcast of
CBS 's KWTV in
Oklahoma City


AP PhotoExclusive WBEN Audio
On The WBEN Liveline

CBS's Stephen Kaufman in Oklahoma

Entercom's  Rob Ladd in Oklahoma City

National Weather Service
Meteorologist Bob Hamilton

AccuWeather's Brian Edwards


" Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Oklahoma in the wake of the horrific tornado that caused widespread damage in parts of the state. Here in New York we know firsthand the devastation and pain caused by natural disasters, and in difficult times like these we, more than ever, stand with our fellow Americans. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed in this tragedy." 
        -- NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo


At least 20 children are among the more than 50 reported dead so far in Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb.  Workers could be seen after midnight at one elementary school sifting through rubble. Officials early Tuesday said the death toll could rise by as many as 40.

 At the church where the surviving children were being taken, parents stared into the distance with worry as they waited, some holding the hands of young children who were missing siblings.

 "As long as we are here ... we are going to hold out hope that we will find survivors," said Trooper Betsy Randolph, of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

More than 120 people were being treated at hospitals, including about 50 children. Amy Elliott, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office, said Tuesday that there could be as many as 40 more fatalities from Monday's tornado.

Families anxiously waited at nearby churches to hear if their loved ones were OK. A man with a megaphone stood Monday evening near St. Andrews United Methodist Church and called out the names of surviving children. Parents waited nearby, hoping to hear their sons' and daughters' names.