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Oklahoma tornado damage could top $2 billion

 AT&T employees sort through tangled phone lines as they clean up in a tornado-ravaged neighborhood Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge torn...
 Storm clouds build in the distance beyond tornado-ravaged homes Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma Cit...
 An unidentified man watches a rain storm from inside the garage of his tornado-damaged home Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roa...
 In this aerial photo, a person, lower right, stand in front of a home demolished home by Monday's tornado, in Moore, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Th...
 A firefighter watches vehicles pass by in front of a destroyed home north of SW 149th between Western and Santa Fe on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after a ...
 This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 aerial photo shows homes damaged by Monday's tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City...
 Jeff Thayer, right, and his son Heath look at a tornado-ravaged pickup truck belonging to another son Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge t...
 A man carries a drawer and a bag filled with clothes from Rachel Hernandez' home as residents of the Heatherwood Addition, on the south side of SE 4 ...

Oklahoma Tornado

AT&T employees sort through tangled phone lines as they clean up in a tornado-ravaged neighborhood Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge torn...

Oklahoma Tornado

Storm clouds build in the distance beyond tornado-ravaged homes Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma Cit...

Oklahoma Tornado

An unidentified man watches a rain storm from inside the garage of his tornado-damaged home Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roa...

APTOPIX Oklahoma Tornado

In this aerial photo, a person, lower right, stand in front of a home demolished home by Monday's tornado, in Moore, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Th...

Oklahoma Tornado

A firefighter watches vehicles pass by in front of a destroyed home north of SW 149th between Western and Santa Fe on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after a ...

APTOPIX Oklahoma Tornado

This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 aerial photo shows homes damaged by Monday's tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City...

Oklahoma Tornado

Jeff Thayer, right, and his son Heath look at a tornado-ravaged pickup truck belonging to another son Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge t...

Oklahoma Tornado

A man carries a drawer and a bag filled with clothes from Rachel Hernandez' home as residents of the Heatherwood Addition, on the south side of SE 4 ...

The cost of a massive tornado that battered an Oklahoma City suburb could be more than $2 billion, according to a preliminary estimate announced Wednesday by state officials.
Oklahoma Insurance Department Spokeswoman Calley Herth told The Associated Press that the early tally is based on visual assessments of the extensive damage zone stretching more than 17 miles (27 kilometers) and the fact that the tornado was on the ground for 40 minutes.
She said the financial cost of Monday's tornado in Moore could be greater than the $2 billion in damage from the 2011 tornado that killed 158 people in Joplin, Missouri. Herth said that twister left a smaller trail of destruction.
With no reports of anyone still missing and with the death toll at 24 people, authorities and residents turned Wednesday toward assessing the damage and plotting a future course for Moore, a town of about 56,000 which was also hit by a massive tornado in 1999.
Authorities have yet to present concrete numbers for how many homes were damaged or destroyed, but the view from the air shows whole neighborhoods obliterated, with gouged earth littered with splintered wood and pulverized cars.
Dan Ramsey, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, said a damage estimate in the low billions is "not surprising."
"Certainly it's in the hundreds of millions," Ramsey said. "I suppose seeing projections from similar disasters, it could stretch to a billion" or more.


Updated : 2021-07-28 19:17 GMT+08:00