Daily Israel Report

Eyewitness: Israelis Could Understand 'Oklahoma Spirit'

An eyewitness told Arutz Sheva about the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that hit Moore, Oklahoma last week.
By David Lev & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 5/27/2013, 12:15 AM

Last week's tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma were among the most devastating in memory in the state. The tornadoes killed dozens of people, injured hundreds, flattened buildings, and left tens of thousands homeless.

The devastation has closed off large parts of Moore, and until officials can determine the safety of structures, it is likely many people will be prevented from returning to their homes altogether, according to Taylor Curtis Oliphant, a victim of the tornado who spoke to Arutz Sheva about his experience.

So far, said Oliphant, 91 people are dead – 20 of them from the Plaza Towers Elementary School, where dozens of children and parents tried to ride out the storm. Thirteen thousand buildings were destroyed, and altogether 34,000 of the town's 41,000 residents were affected by the tornadoes.

Right now, said Oliphant, the Red Cross and an army of volunteers are working with the victims. Residents of the town who are able to are helping those in need; Oliphant, who owns an eye care business, has been supplying residents in need with glasses.

And, said Oliphant, Israelis and Oklahoma residents share a common experience: When a tornado is approaching in Oklahoma, sirens sound, as they do in Israel when there is an emergency. “We are used to storms and tornadoes,” he said, so when a siren sounds, they take it as a matter of course – as Israelis do, when they face a crisis. Israelis, he said,“could understand more than anyone” about the “spirit of Oklahoma.”