Signs of damage still exist, including two driveways across the street from the school that lead to vacant lots. A child is carried away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, on May 20. “I think it’s exciting for him to be back in a normal routine,” Sunny Choate said. While Briarwood is up and running, the neighborhood surrounding the school is still recovering from the tornado. Students and parents arrive on the first day of school at the newly rebuilt Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Prior... 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Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday, according to local media reports. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman +4 Seven of those victims died inside Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was … Rebuilt elementary school in Moore reopens after 2013 deadly tornado, Briarwood Elementary back to school (2014-08-19). Briarwood Elementary was hit by a tornado. 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. “People just haven’t been able to move back in on our street yet.”. Scenes of the damage done to the Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, by the May 20, 2013, tornado. Tornadoes happen, things happen, bad things happen. 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. All out buildings were destroyed completely. “Our house was taken, and we had to relocate. The girl and two sisters were picked up by their grandmother before the tornado reached the school. Commenting on NewsOK requires a NewsOK Pro or Oklahoman subscription. Here’s the first picture coming from Moore. Horror: Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City. MOORE, Okla. – Briarwood Elementary School took a direct hit from a tornado today and was severely damaged. 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. Jordan, 9, took cover under her desk during the storm and emerged frightened but uninjured. The tornado struck Briarwood Elementary School (South Oklahoma City), Plaza Towers Elementary School (Moore), and Highland East Junior High School. Briarwood Elementary didn’t survive the tornado, but everyone who had been inside did. The school was destroyed in last year's May 20th tornado. Monster Tornado Hits Elementary School Eyewitness video shows the terror as mile-wide monster tornado roars over Briarwood Elementary. “I’ve been wanting to cry all day, but I’ve been telling myself not to,” Sandoval said. 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. 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. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Okla, Monday, May 20, 2013. MASSIVE TORNADO RIPS THROUGH MOORE, OKLAHOMA! 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. “Even though it’s a new school, it’s still in the same location with the same classmates.”. Eyewitness video shows the terror as mile-wide monster tornado roars over Briarwood Elementary. Near SW 149th and Hudson. Briarwood and Plaza Towers sustained enough damage to be considered a total loss. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013. 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. 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. Log in or subscribe to read and leave comments. Highland East's gym was for the most part destroyed. Choate’s parents, Sunny and Donny Choate, said they welcome a return to normalcy. 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 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. Mother Ashley Sandoval clutched Jordan’s 5-year-old brother and fought back tears as they waited to enter the newly constructed building. 7 of 26. Teachers and students sought shelter in bathrooms when the twister struck. “These are all new kids to him and new faces,” the mother said. Neighborhood south is “wiped out” after a mile-and-a-half wide tornado ripped through the town. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like for these children huddled down in this school, this tornado … 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. The tornado roared eastward towards Santa Fe Avenue, where at least one fatality occurred in the destruction of a two-story home. Children were reportedly trapped inside the building and were removed from a bathroom. THE TOWN LOOKS DESTROYED– News 9… EXPLAINER: Who has been charged in the deadly Capitol riot? “I think it will happen again.”. 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. “What happened happened,” said Chris Willis, the girls’ father. Read more ›. 10 children were among the 24 total killed by the tornado. The school was destroyed in last year's May 20th tornado. Sherri Bittle and Cindy Lowe helped save dozens of lives when the tornado hit Briarwood Elementary. 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. It’s just part of life. The t… Oklahoma Tornado: 20 Children Among at Least 51 Dead, 'Horrific' Damage Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Okla., was severely damaged in storm 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. This looks really bad – the town is destroyed. Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers K-12 education, including Oklahoma City Public Schools and the state Education Department. As she walked her son to school Tuesday morning, Sara Hills said she looked forward to families returning to the neighborhood. “It feels real good,” Kennedy said. and recess.”. 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 … Officials said Briarwood Elementary School, also in Moore, was also wrecked by the tornado as well. No one died at the school, but seven students were found dead at nearby Plaza Towers Elementary School. 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. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla., after a a tornado destroyed the school on May 20, 2013. Parents said the addition of safe rooms gives them a heightened sense of security. It’s Oklahoma. 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 … Its rapid intensification resulted in the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Norman issuing a severe thunderstorm warning for northern Grady, northwestern Cleveland, northern McClain, and southwestern Oklahoma Counties (including southwestern portions of the immediate Oklahoma Cityarea) at 2:12 p.m. CDT. “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. Other students, such as fifth-grader Kennedy Willis, were excited to see old friends and make new acquaintances. “I’m a lot more confident with the safe rooms here,” said Justin Haney, whose daughter, Hannah, started the fourth grade. “Our house is just down the street, and it’s the only one that’s been rebuilt,” Hills said. Nearby, two homes are under construction. They included 4-year-olds and students set to move onto … She appeared hesitant to return Tuesday, despite eight new classrooms that double as safe rooms. 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. Moore Love. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. Prior... New Briarwood Elementary opens after 2013 tornado leveled school in Moore district, OU football: Sooners DE Ronnie Perkins declares for NFL Draft. That day, an EF5 tornado tore through portions of southwest Oklahoma City and cut a deadly path through Moore, killing 25 people. There are reinforced tornado shelters in more than 100 schools across Oklahoma, excluding the two that were devastated by a Tornado earlier this … 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. “If they didn’t have the safe rooms, I probably wouldn’t have come back.”. Briarwood Elementary was also home to several highly emotional reunions between tornado … Chris Combs and her husband Jimmy look over damge at Briarwood Elementary School. PAUL HELLSTERN / … “When the tornado hit, it was really, really scary,” she said. Even though it ’ s still in the library for story time when the tornado, but who... 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