After night fell in Oklahoma, amid the chaos in the hours after a devastating tornado left a 20-mile path of destruction, the death toll stood at 51, and officials believed it would only increase.
But by Tuesday morning officials and locals found something of a "silver lining," as one state medical examiner's office official put it. The death toll had dropped to 24, although it is still expected to rise as rescuers continue to search through debris.
"Fewer losses is better, of course," Amy Elliott of the state medical examiner's office told the Los Angeles Times.
Elliott said that the revision came after the medical examiner's office found a "difference in the calls that had been reported to us and the decedents we actually received." In the disorder in wake of such a disaster, some of those killed were double reported.
Elliott noted that her office has experience working major disasters in the Oklahoma City area, such as the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building downtown in which more than 160 people were killed and the devastating May 3, 1999, tornado, a point of reference for many Oklahomans in describing this storm's destruction.