- 15 Photos
- (Photo: Daphne Zaras - NSSL/NSSL)
Seventy-four tornadoes were spawned on May 3, 1999 including a F5 tornado which struck the suburbs of Oklahoma City. This tornado tracked along a 38-mile path for nearly an hour and a half from Chickasha through south Oklahoma City and the suburbs of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Moore, Midwest City and Del City. The outbreak caused 46 deaths, 800 injuries, nearly 8000 homes damaged or destroyed and over $1.5 billion in damages.
Meteorologist Devon Lucie here. I was a meteorology student at the University of Oklahoma that day, and it's one I'll never forget. At that time, the school of meteorology was located on the top floor of Sarkeys Energy Center at the Northeast end of the campus in Norman, OK, which you can see on the map, is just southeast of the track of the infamous tornado.
I was on the 12th floor in a room with other students when I witnessed the tell-tale flashes of power lines and transformers failing as the tornado ripped through Moore. The massive wedge tornado also was crossing over I-35 at that time where a number of people lost their lives while trying to shelter from the twister during rush hour. The highest wind speed recorded by the Doppler on Wheels found winds of 298mph, which is still the highest wind speed ever recorded on the planet. It was an awesome, yet horrfying sight... one I never hope to repeat again.
- Outbreak Map from NWS Norman, OK
Thanks to @stormchaser4850 for finding and sharing these videos on his twitter feed.