The sky was a deep shade of cerulean when my father and I arrived in Oklahoma City, a stop on our cross-country trip to my new home in Los Angeles, CA. Golden hour was approaching without a cloud in sight; the setting sun casting brilliant hues of gold and orange upon the Bricktown section of the city. I was transfixed. While there wasn’t anything extraordinary about that sunset in Oklahoma on May 22, 2013, I still remember the colors to this day. The reasoning is simple: that evening, the sky was clear––two days earlier, the sky had fallen.
Ten miles to the south of Oklahoma City lies the city of Moore, known to many as the “Home of Toby Keith.” It’s hard to miss––the city is landmarked by a white water tower with the word “Moore” painted in bright blue toward the top. A quiet suburban sprawl, Moore provides respite from the crowded high-rises of Oklahoma City. It is a town of tight-knit subdivisions, quiet streets flocked with children at play, full of folks proud to call the city “home.”
The city is also right in the heart of Tornado Alley.
Ask any native of the Great Plains, and they will tell you that spring storms are just a way of life… something residents just deal with; similar to how Californians feel about earthquakes. Thunderstorms occur every spring, but tornadoes are still quite rare. Many residents of the Plains will go their entire lives without ever seeing a tornado.
Moore is the exception to this rule.