[Moved to the top and updated links.]
The town of Moore, Oklahoma, has been destroyed by a tornado.
A monster tornado ripped through southern Oklahoma City and the suburb of Moore on Monday afternoon, leaving homes and schools in ruins and fires burning out of control.
There was no immediate word on casualties, but aerial footage showed major destruction: homes in rubble, cars flipped over and crushed, residents milling around in shock or combing through debris.
“A large part of the community has been affected,” Jayme Shelton, a spokesman for Moore, told MSNBC.
A forecaster for NBC station KFOR said the tornado was kicking up a debris cloud about 2 miles wide as it tracked east into residential neighborhoods in the Moore area.
Forecasters said the twister could be an EF5, the most devastating category of storm with sustained wind speeds topping 200 mph and “incredible” damage. The National Weather Service will confirm the storm’s intensity.
Oklahoma City police told NBC News southern portions of the city as well as the Moore suburb sustained “major damage… a lot of damage.”
Two elementary schools were heavily damaged, possibly completely destroyed, KFOR reported. Those schools are Briarwood Elementary in Oklahoma City and Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore.
This is the second time the town has been destroyed. In May 1999, a tornado followed the same path.
Update: MSNBC is reporting at least 51 killed.
The Syrian Army and Hezbollah advance on rebel-held city.
North Korea seizes Chinese boat.
Tornadoes hit homes in Oklahoma.
Russia expels former U.S. embassy official.
U.S. gas prices up 11 cents in two weeks.
Yahoo buys Tumblr for $1.1 billion.
The Tigers fall to the Rangers again, 11-8.
Israel strikes Syrian military research center.
Seven U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan.
Flood warnings issued from Illinois to Florida.
Early wildfires predict a tough season in California.
Harper Lee sues for rights to her own book.
Orb won the Kentucky Derby.
The Tigers walloped the Astros 17-2.
Rhode Island passes marriage equality.
They were actually planning to bomb us on the Fourth of July.
Obama in Mexico — Gun checks “just the first round.”
Let it snow? In May?
The Tigers beat the Astros 7-3 in extra innings.
U.N. Secretary General appeals to Syria to open up to chemical weapons inspectors.
Iraq — A series of car bombs killed at least 23 people in Shi’ite areas.
Afghan leader confirms cash payments by the C.I.A.
FBI visits Boston bombing suspects widow.
Supreme Court rejects Alabama appeal of immigration law.
Red River crest in North Dakota lowered again.
The Netherlands will get its first king in 120 years.
The Tigers beat the Twins 4-3.
Russia tells U.S. that Boston bombers discussed jihad in 2011.
Texas gets swamped by 7 inches of rain.
Lawmakers ponder role in Syria.
Charlotte mayor to be nominated for Secretary of Transportation.
Oy, Adrian — Musical of “Rocky” headed for Broadway.
Ten things to know for today.
The Heat sweep Milwaukee.
The Tigers swept the Braves, 8-3.
Boston bomber officially charged while still in the hospital.
Lone wolves — Tsarnaev claims he has no links to terrorist groups.
Canada thwarts plot to bomb train.
Five dead in shooting in Seattle.
21 and up — New York City considers raising age to buy tobacco.
Severe weather still hammers the Midwest.
As promised, the flight delays stack up as the FAA furloughs begin.
The Google Doodle today notes that we all live on this planet together.
Meanwhile, we remember that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill started three years ago and we’re still cleaning it up with chemicals that are still toxic, our fertilizer can still blow us to smithereens, and climate change is still happening despite what some crack-pot Jesus-shouter congressman from Texas thinks about Noah and the flood.
It’s still snowing up in Michigan and they’re still bracing for floods in the Midwest.
Have a nice day.
Avalanche kills five snowboarders in Colorado.
U.S. promises to double aid to Syrian rebels.
Rescuers struggle to reach earthquake victims in China.
Wildfire in California forces 200 homes evacuated.
Spring flooding bringing rivers to their crest in the Midwest.
The Tigers got walloped and shut out by the Angels 10-0.
The suspect in the Boston bombings now faces interrogation.
Death toll in Texas fertilizer plant blast reaches 14.
Big earthquake hits China.
Judge in Pakistan keeps Musharraf in jail.
Indiana hit by downpour as storms head east.
R.I.P. Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today.
The Tigers lost to the Angels 8-1.
FBI searches for a man with a bag seen near the blast site in Boston.
Suspect arrested for mailing ricin-laced letters to President Obama and Sen. Wicker.
Thatcher funeral draws mourners and protestors in London.
Texas D.A. Murder — The wife of a jailed justice of the peace has been charged with murder.
Wild weather — Spring snow and heavy rain hit the Midwest.
Stocks slump as Apple goes sour.
The Tigers beat the Mariners 2-1 in 14 innings.
The U.S. tells North Korea to knock it off.
Syria — Massacre reported as forces move south.
One good thing in the Obama budget is federal health care benefits for same-sex couples.
Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and several other car companies (including Pontiac) face recalls over airbags.
Korean War P.O.W. gets posthumous Medal of Honor.
Tornadoes hit Mississippi as storms head east.
The Tigers beat the Blue Jays 11-1.
Syria — Further aid to the rebels gains support among Western allies.
Nobody’s Happy — President Obama’s budget landed on Capitol Hill.
Majority of Americans favor a path to citizenship for immigrants.
NRA rattles its sabre at Congress.
Winter is still blasting the Midwest.
China bans “Django Unchained.”
The Tigers lost to the Blue Jays.
Syria — Bombing in Damascus kills at least 15.
The U.N. wags its finger at North Korea.
President Obama presses gun control in Connecticut.
Maryland passes medical marijuana law.
Gas prices are falling to $3 a gallon in some places.
Winter’s last laugh — Wyoming and Colorado brace for snow.
Lock phasers, ensign — U.S. Navy deploys laser weapon near Iran.
Congratulations to NCAA hoops champs Louisville.
We had our first really hard rain of the year at my place last night. The whole show: lightning, thunder, and pouring rain starting around 2:30 a.m.
Rain on the patio screen.
This is just the opening number. The rainy season starts in earnest about the middle of May. Along with it comes the high humidity and the afternoon boomers coming in from the Everglades to soak the ground and make the lawn grow to the point that I’ve got a hayfield out back between the cutting every two weeks.
It will also make the morning commute miserable, which is why I’m glad I’ve got another vacation day today.
Cyprus — Bailout plan causes panic around the world.
Syrian rebels elect U.S. citizen as its prime minister.
A student who took his own life at the University of Central Florida had planned a campus attack.
Arizona’s immigration law gets a grilling at the Supreme Court.
FBI says it knows who stole millions of dollars worth of art in Boston in 1990.
Cosmic Events — There’s a snowstorm headed for the Northeast, and the sun is shooting out huge flares.
China is the world’s fifth largest arms exporter.
Iran launches a destroyer.
Six arrested in gang-rape of Swiss tourist.
U.S. Justice Department looked at the Wall Street Journal in connection with Murdoch bribery scandal.
Small plane crashes in South Bend, Indiana; several deaths reported.
Teens convicted in Steubenville rape case.
Obama expected to name Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary.
Late winter storm expected to bring more snow to the Northeast.
Car bombs kill 8 in Iraq.
La crosse team bus crash in Pennsylvania kills two.
Evacuation order lifted in Colorado wildfire.
Verdict expected in Steubenville rape trial.
CPAC test runs a few for 2016.
It’s cold and rainy in Dublin as they prepare for St. Patrick’s Day.
A big bomb went off in Afghanistan just as Secretary of Defense Hagel arrived.
North Korea vows to become a “nuclear state.”
The presidential election in Kenya has a winner but no loser.
U.S. unemployment figures hit new low as the economy picks up steam.
New England got hit by another big snowstorm on Friday.
South Dakota will let teachers carry firearms.
R.I.P Stompin’ Tom Connors, 77, Canadian singer.
Number of refugees from Syria hits 1 million.
Senate committee approves John Brennan for CIA director.
Obama reaches out to GOP in budget negotiations.
Asian stock markets like the Dow’s high.
L.A. mayoral race will likely have a run-off.
Heavy snow headed for the Northeast.