Medical Examiner Revises Death Toll From Tornadoes - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Medical Examiner Revises Death Toll From Tornadoes

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The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office now says 24 people, including seven children have been killed by a tornado that hit suburban Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon. Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm. Initially, 51 deaths, including 20 children, were reported.

Hospitals are treating more than 120 patients, including about 70 children.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says "hearts are broken" for parents who are wondering about the fate of their children after the tornado that devastated suburban Oklahoma City.
 
Fallin says a communications center has been set up Monday at a church in Moore, where an afternoon tornado flattened entire neighborhoods and destroyed an elementary school with a direct hit. She says responders are working as quickly as they can to sort through the rubble.

And - several children have been pulled out of the rubble alive at a school in an Oklahoma City suburb. 

An Associated Press photographer saw several children being pulled out of what was left of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on Monday after a massive tornado hit the region. 
 
Rescue workers lifted children from the rubble before they were passed down a human chain and taken to a triage center set up in the school's parking lot. 
 
The school is southwest of Oklahoma City. Its roof appears mangled and the walls had fallen in or had collapsed. 

The National Weather Service said the tornado's preliminary classification was an EF-4, with winds up to 200 mph.

Neighborhoods in Moore, Okla., are flattened and buildings are on fire. Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in the city south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has called Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to express his concern about a monstrous tornado that wreaked havoc in the Oklahoma City suburbs.
 
The White House says Obama told the governor that he's directed the government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide any assistance she needs. FEMA has sent a special team to Oklahoma's emergency operations center to help out and dispatch resources.
 
Obama also told Fallin to contact him directly if the federal government can provide additional help.
 
The White House says Obama's homeland security team is keeping him updated on the situation.
 
The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface. 

If you want to help victims in Oklahoma City, donate to the American Red Cross at http://redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999.

And on Wednesday - Channel 2 News is joining with the Red Cross and the Atlantis to help raise money for the Oklahoma tornado victims. We'll be set-up to take your donations in the west parking lot of the Atlantis – near the northwest corner of South Virginia and Peckham Lane.

We'll be there from 11:00am to 7:00pm on Wednesday, so come by and see us as we work together to help those affected by today's devastating tornado.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the devastating tornadoes that struck Oklahoma. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Our hearts go out to the families whose loved ones were lost, injured or missing in the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. Our thoughts are with all those who were affected by this tragedy, including families still searching for their children in the wreckage of two elementary schools.

I commend the heroic efforts of first responders who rushed to the scene and have been working tirelessly to help those who were injured and search for those who are still missing. And I applaud the neighbors and everyday citizens, young and old, who have been courageous in helping.

While we may not know the extent of the damage for some time, we will continue to do everything in our power to help the people of Oklahoma as they recover from these terrible tornadoes. And we will stand vigilant today, ready to send additional assistance as more storms threaten the region.

I know every federal resource will be brought to bear to help the communities affected by this tragedy. I look forward to hearing President Obama's remarks on disaster momentarily. I am pleased that FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is already in Oklahoma assessing the extent of the damage and deciding how the federal government can best assist. And I will continue to monitor the search and rescue effort.

Whenever tragedy strikes one part of our nation, it strikes us all. And so I pledge the people of Oklahoma our continued support as they begin to rebuild.

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