10 children were among the 24 total killed by the tornado. But what happened in May (2013) was a freak occurrence that hopefully won’t happen again.”, A few feet away, Connor Choate, 10, sported blue sunglasses and said he looked forward to “doing stuff with my friends, like P.E. The school was destroyed in last year's May 20th tornado. MOORE, Okla. – Briarwood Elementary School took a direct hit from a tornado today and was severely damaged. and recess.”. A child is carried away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, on May 20. Briarwood Elementary was hit by a tornado. “When the tornado hit, it was really, really scary,” she said. Sherri Bittle and Cindy Lowe helped save dozens of lives when the tornado hit Briarwood Elementary. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman, Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers K-12 education, including Oklahoma City Public Schools and the state Education Department. Chris Combs and her husband Jimmy look over damge at Briarwood Elementary School. “I think it will happen again.”. “I’m a lot more confident with the safe rooms here,” said Justin Haney, whose daughter, Hannah, started the fourth grade. Briarwood and Plaza Towers sustained enough damage to be considered a total loss. Moore Love. “Even though it’s a new school, it’s still in the same location with the same classmates.”. Signs of damage still exist, including two driveways across the street from the school that lead to vacant lots. Briarwood student writes emotional essay about surviving the Moore tornado in destroyed school ‘The darkness was everywhere,’ 10-year-old storm survivor writes about living through Moore tornado “People just haven’t been able to move back in on our street yet.”. Prior... New Briarwood Elementary opens after 2013 tornado leveled school in Moore district, OU football: Sooners DE Ronnie Perkins declares for NFL Draft. While Briarwood is up and running, the neighborhood surrounding the school is still recovering from the tornado. Teachers and students sought shelter in bathrooms when the twister struck. Here’s the first picture coming from Moore. Google has shared satellite photos taken before and after the devastating tornado that struck Moore, Oklahomaon May 20, 2013. Kennedy, 10, was in the library for story time when the sirens sounded. Children were reportedly trapped inside the building and were removed from a bathroom. As she walked her son to school Tuesday morning, Sara Hills said she looked forward to families returning to the neighborhood. Fifth-grade teacher Robin Dziedzic, a native of Ark City, Kan., shows the inside of her classroom after the school was hit by an EF-5 tornado on May 20, 2013. Briarwood Elementary School was impacted directly by the tornado at EF5 intensity, resulting in the near complete destruction of the school’s classroom buildings and gym. That day, an EF5 tornado tore through portions of southwest Oklahoma City and cut a deadly path through Moore, killing 25 people. The t… “What happened happened,” said Chris Willis, the girls’ father. Eyewitness video shows the terror as mile-wide monster tornado roars over Briarwood Elementary. Briarwood Elementary didn’t survive the tornado, but everyone who had been inside did. Tornadoes happen, things happen, bad things happen. Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers K-12 education, including Oklahoma City Public Schools and the state Education Department. Scenes of the damage done to the Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, by the May 20, 2013, tornado. Parents said the addition of safe rooms gives them a heightened sense of security. Oklahoma Tornado: 20 Children Among at Least 51 Dead, 'Horrific' Damage Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Okla., was severely damaged in storm The tornado struck Briarwood Elementary School (South Oklahoma City), Plaza Towers Elementary School (Moore), and Highland East Junior High School. Officials said Briarwood Elementary School, also in Moore, was also wrecked by the tornado as well. Near SW 149th and Hudson. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like for these children huddled down in this school, this tornado … Horror: Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Okla, Monday, May 20, 2013. First responder Jim Routon hugs his seven year old neighbor Hezekiah as the two unite at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south OKC Oklahoma City, OK, Monday, May 20, 2013. A monstrous tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. This looks really bad – the town is destroyed. Greysen Hills, 6, could use some playmates, she said. After hearing that the tornado was headed toward another school called Briarwood Elementary, David Wheeler left work and drove 100 mph through blinding rain and gusting wind to find his 8 … Prior... “I feel confident and nervous.”. “I’ve been wanting to cry all day, but I’ve been telling myself not to,” Sandoval said. “It feels real good,” Kennedy said. Commenting on NewsOK requires a NewsOK Pro or Oklahoman subscription. The school was destroyed in last year's May 20th tornado. “I think it’s exciting for him to be back in a normal routine,” Sunny Choate said. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Okla, May 20, 2013. Credit: Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman/AP. Near SW 149th and Hudson. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. MASSIVE TORNADO RIPS THROUGH MOORE, OKLAHOMA! Other students, such as fifth-grader Kennedy Willis, were excited to see old friends and make new acquaintances. THE TOWN LOOKS DESTROYED– News 9… The new Briarwood, 14901 S Hudson Ave. in Oklahoma City, cost about $12 million to build. Briarwood Elementary was also home to several highly emotional reunions between tornado … 7 of 26. PAUL HELLSTERN / … MOORE — Moore Public Schools will pay $14,000 each to the families of seven children killed in the May 20, 2013, tornado, ending three years of litigation, officials said Monday. “He’s excited just to be able to play with friends; our neighborhood really hasn’t had any kids all summer.”, Students and parents arrive on the first day of school at the newly rebuilt Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. There are reinforced tornado shelters in more than 100 schools across Oklahoma, excluding the two that were devastated by a Tornado earlier this … Seven of those victims died inside Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was … Students and parents arrive on the first day of school at the newly rebuilt Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. The girl and two sisters were picked up by their grandmother before the tornado reached the school. The tornado roared eastward towards Santa Fe Avenue, where at least one fatality occurred in the destruction of a two-story home. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. EXPLAINER: Who has been charged in the deadly Capitol riot? Neighborhood south is “wiped out” after a mile-and-a-half wide tornado ripped through the town. Highland East's gym was for the most part destroyed. The tornado tore a 12-mile path of destruction that killed 24 people, including nine children, and destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School and Briarwood Elementary School in Moore. It’s just part of life. All out buildings were destroyed completely. Choate’s parents, Sunny and Donny Choate, said they welcome a return to normalcy. Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday, according to local media reports. Jordan Sandoval returned to Briarwood Elementary School on Tuesday for the first time in almost 15 months, her hair curled for the start of third grade. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013. They included 4-year-olds and students set to move onto … Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman +4 Jordan, 9, took cover under her desk during the storm and emerged frightened but uninjured. “If they didn’t have the safe rooms, I probably wouldn’t have come back.”. It’s Oklahoma. Read more ›. Monster Tornado Hits Elementary School Eyewitness video shows the terror as mile-wide monster tornado roars over Briarwood Elementary. “These are all new kids to him and new faces,” the mother said. Plaza Towers Elementary School was flattened by the storm and Briarwood Elementary School was also reportedly severely hit. The thunderstorm that eventually produced the tornado developed less than one hour after the tornado watch was issued, around 2:00 p.m. CDT, across northern Grady County. Mother Ashley Sandoval clutched Jordan’s 5-year-old brother and fought back tears as they waited to enter the newly constructed building. No one died at the school, but seven students were found dead at nearby Plaza Towers Elementary School. Nearby, two homes are under construction. She appeared hesitant to return Tuesday, despite eight new classrooms that double as safe rooms. The interactive below compares images of Briarwood Elementary School, Plaza Towers Elementary School and Moore Medical Center taken on April 29, 2013 with images collected on May 22, 2013. 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S. insurrection with a National Geographic photographer, Behind the Scenes of Our January 2021 Special Issue, ‘2020: The Year in Pictures’, The Making of a Photograph: Commitment March, SpaceX's Starship First High-Altitude Flight, Meet three astronauts selected to train for missions to the moon, Why it actually might be 'survival of the friendliest', Bill Gates: COVID-19 has set back global health for years, How apocalypses paved the way for humans (and terror birds). Kids are reportedly trapped and hurt. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla., after a a tornado destroyed the school on May 20, 2013. “Our house was taken, and we had to relocate. It marked a new beginning for hundreds of Briarwood children, who attended classes last year in a nearby church after a powerful tornado leveled the Moore district school May 20, 2013. Rebuilt elementary school in Moore reopens after 2013 deadly tornado, Briarwood Elementary back to school (2014-08-19). We are excited to share that Moore Public Schools and the MPS Foundation’s annual philanthropic initiative, “Moore Love,” will be throughout the entire year at the three high schools and highlighted during the month of February at ALL 35 schools – elementary, junior high, high schools … Log in or subscribe to read and leave comments. The storm destroyed the school building and killed seven third-grade students when the wall they had been seated against while bracing for the tornado collapsed onto them. Another elementary school, Briarwood Elementary in Oklahoma City, located about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Plaza Towers, was also hit, but no casualties were reported there. 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