The Moore tornado: picking up the pieces

The damage of the Moore tornado was visible in the morning light a week ago today – and it was breathtaking. Worse than the 1999 twister that mowed a path from Newcastle to Stroud, finally losing steam south of Tulsa. More than 13,000 buildings destroyed. 24 fatalities. Over $2 billion in damage. There was a greater loss of life in the 1999 tornado, but this 2013 tornado will have a far greater economic impact as people start picking up the pieces, making their lists, and trying to figure out where to start to rebuild.

The funnel’s path tracked just 15 km north of our Norman house, on Classen Boulevard. Too close for comfort, even from abroad. Had we been home, this would have been the fourth spring in a row that we would have taken shelter with a tornado on the ground in the vicinity. Tornadoes seem to be stronger than they did when I was a kid, growing up in Oklahoma. Or are our weather news and alerts just better?

The Italians in Arezzo continue to ask us questions about the tornado. They want to know if everyone is ok. They want to know if more tornadoes will happen. (“Definitely,” I tell them.) I, for my part, am regularly checking social media for news and updates about my friend and colleague Robyn, who suffered a catastrophic loss of property in the twister. She is doing ok, and even better, they were reunited with her dog, the faithful Mona, on Friday evening. Mona is recovering from her adventure; aside from some minor medical issues, by all accounts, she is in good shape, and will be back to her playful self soon. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone around the world who made contributions large and small to Robyn and Ivan’s fund at http://www.gofundme.com/robynivan (still accepting donations, and no, it’s not too late.)

Global moxie happens every day. You know what it is? It’s when the world feels small, in a really good way, and accessible. Global moxie is reaching far and finding that, in fact, it is very close.

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