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Oklahoma tornado reclassified as EF-5, with wind more than 200 mph

May 21, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • A doll sits in a pile of debris in a destroyed neighborhood in Moore, Oklahoma.
A doll sits in a pile of debris in a destroyed neighborhood in Moore, Oklahoma. (Tannen Maury / European…)

The National Weather Service upgraded the power of the tornado that cut through Oklahoma on Monday, saying it had carried wind stronger than 200 miles an hour in some areas.

The agency said on its website Tuesday that its damage survey teams had looked at the path of the tornado and had given it a preliminary rating of EF-5, the top designation. The agency originally gave the storm, which has claimed at least 24 lives, a preliminary rating of EF-4 as measured on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

According to the agency, the survey teams found that the tornado had carried peak wind of 200 to 210 mph.

PHOTOS: Powerful tornado slams Oklahoma

The service also said that the storm track was 17 miles long, slightly shorter than original estimates, but the maximum width was 1.3 miles, larger than first estimates.

The storm raged from 2:45 p.m. Monday until 3:35 p.m.

There were “numerous indications of EF-4 damage with some areas now determined at EF-5 damage,” the agency said.

All findings are preliminary.

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