Oklahoma City Area Was Hammered By EF5 Tornado In 1999


**EMBARGO: Oklahoma City** A rash of tornadoes wreaked havoc in Oklahoma and the Midwest on Sunday and Monday, destroying homes and tossing trees around like toothpicks. But the destructive weather isn’t over. Baseball-sized hail, wind gusts and tornadoes could pummel parts of the central Plains and Midwest through Monday.

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Monday afternoon’s devastating tornado in the Oklahoma City suburbs brought to mind a May 1999 E5 twister that killed 36 people and smashed some of the same communities.

On May 3, 1999, a total of 74 tornadoes pummeled Kansas and Oklahoma, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The states counted a total of 46 dead. Thirty-six died in Oklahoma City.

The strongest tornado, rated a maximum EF5 on the Fujita Tornado Scale, tracked for nearly an hour and a half along a 38-mile path from Chickasha through south Oklahoma City and the suburbs of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Moore, Midwest City and Del City.

Monday’s tornado in Oklahoma city, with a preliminary rating of EF4, also struck Moore and Newcastle.

According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, the 1999 Oklahoma City twister was among the costliest in U.S. history, with damage totaling at $1 billion.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, who lives in Moore, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the damage he was seeing on television Monday looked as bad as the 1999 tornado that destroyed more than 1,000 houses in his hometown.

Moore is located between Oklahoma City and Norman — home to the University of Oklahoma — on the south side of the metropolitan area.

The second deadliest tornado in the Oklahoma City area occurred on June 12, 1942, with 35 residents killed, according to the National Weather Service.

By CNN Staff

CNN’s Caitlin Stark contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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