“When the tornado hit, it was really, really scary,” she said. 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. 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. The girl and two sisters were picked up by their grandmother before the tornado reached the school. “I’m a lot more confident with the safe rooms here,” said Justin Haney, whose daughter, Hannah, started the fourth grade. Briarwood Elementary didn’t survive the tornado, but everyone who had been inside did. “People just haven’t been able to move back in on our street yet.”. MOORE, Okla. – Briarwood Elementary School took a direct hit from a tornado today and was severely damaged. She appeared hesitant to return Tuesday, despite eight new classrooms that double as safe rooms. Briarwood and Plaza Towers sustained enough damage to be considered a total loss. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla., after a a tornado destroyed the school on May 20, 2013. “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. 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. 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. The school was destroyed in last year's May 20th tornado. It’s just part of life. “Our house is just down the street, and it’s the only one that’s been rebuilt,” Hills said. 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 No one died at the school, but seven students were found dead at nearby Plaza Towers Elementary School. “I think it’s exciting for him to be back in a normal routine,” Sunny Choate said. “I’ve been wanting to cry all day, but I’ve been telling myself not to,” Sandoval said. 7 of 26. The tornado struck Briarwood Elementary School (South Oklahoma City), Plaza Towers Elementary School (Moore), and Highland East Junior High School. Near SW 149th and Hudson. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. Google has shared satellite photos taken before and after the devastating tornado that struck Moore, Oklahomaon May 20, 2013. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013. 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 … Near SW 149th and Hudson. PAUL HELLSTERN / … 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. 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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. 10 children were among the 24 total killed by the tornado. While Briarwood is up and running, the neighborhood surrounding the school is still recovering from the tornado. There are reinforced tornado shelters in more than 100 schools across Oklahoma, excluding the two that were devastated by a Tornado earlier this … Other students, such as fifth-grader Kennedy Willis, were excited to see old friends and make new acquaintances. Horror: Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City. Prior... New Briarwood Elementary opens after 2013 tornado leveled school in Moore district, OU football: Sooners DE Ronnie Perkins declares for NFL Draft. 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. Parents said the addition of safe rooms gives them a heightened sense of security. Briarwood Elementary was also home to several highly emotional reunions between tornado … 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. Monster Tornado Hits Elementary School Eyewitness video shows the terror as mile-wide monster tornado roars over Briarwood Elementary. 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. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like for these children huddled down in this school, this tornado … Moore Love. MASSIVE TORNADO RIPS THROUGH MOORE, OKLAHOMA! That day, an EF5 tornado tore through portions of southwest Oklahoma City and cut a deadly path through Moore, killing 25 people. Greysen Hills, 6, could use some playmates, she said. Plaza Towers Elementary School was flattened by the storm and Briarwood Elementary School was also reportedly severely hit. “I feel confident and nervous.”. “Our house was taken, and we had to relocate. It’s Oklahoma. Seven of those victims died inside Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was … This looks really bad – the town is destroyed. Officials said Briarwood Elementary School, also in Moore, was also wrecked by the tornado as well. Rebuilt elementary school in Moore reopens after 2013 deadly tornado, Briarwood Elementary back to school (2014-08-19). “What happened happened,” said Chris Willis, the girls’ father. THE TOWN LOOKS DESTROYED– News 9… A child is carried away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, on May 20. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman +4 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 … The school was destroyed in last year's May 20th tornado. Eyewitness video shows the terror as mile-wide monster tornado roars over Briarwood Elementary. “If they didn’t have the safe rooms, I probably wouldn’t have come back.”. 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. The t… “I think it will happen again.”. All out buildings were destroyed completely. Mother Ashley Sandoval clutched Jordan’s 5-year-old brother and fought back tears as they waited to enter the newly constructed building. As she walked her son to school Tuesday morning, Sara Hills said she looked forward to families returning to the neighborhood. Nearby, two homes are under construction. “Even though it’s a new school, it’s still in the same location with the same classmates.”. The new Briarwood, 14901 S Hudson Ave. in Oklahoma City, cost about $12 million to build. The tornado roared eastward towards Santa Fe Avenue, where at least one fatality occurred in the destruction of a two-story home. Commenting on NewsOK requires a NewsOK Pro or Oklahoman subscription. Scenes of the damage done to the Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, by the May 20, 2013, tornado. Oklahoma Tornado: 20 Children Among at Least 51 Dead, 'Horrific' Damage Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Okla., was severely damaged in storm and recess.”. Choate’s parents, Sunny and Donny Choate, said they welcome a return to normalcy. Kennedy, 10, was in the library for story time when the sirens sounded. Chris Combs and her husband Jimmy look over damge at Briarwood Elementary School. Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Okla, Monday, May 20, 2013. 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. EXPLAINER: Who has been charged in the deadly Capitol riot? 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. Highland East's gym was for the most part destroyed. Jimmy look over damge at Briarwood Elementary school street from the school was also severely... 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