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A tragedy on Twitter


The May 20 tornado and its aftermath unfold in 140 characters or less.

Jenn Scott May 29th, 2013

The digital age has revolutionized how we interact with one another. In the case of the May 20 tornado, it provides a unique snapshot of history as it unfolds.

Credit: Shannon Cornman

@reedtimmerTVN: STRONG tornado potential again tomorrow (today, Monday afternoon) over much of central and eastern OK!

Timmer is a meteorologist and storm chaser.

@severestudios: LARGE, VIOLENT tornado moving into S OKC metro. MOORE AREA GET UNDERGROUND NOW! (3:07pm)
Severe Studios break severe weather news in Tornado Alley.

@dailythunder: This is just the worst.
Young is an NBA blogger at cbssports.com.

@BrittyCupcakes: Nothing scarier than being in a movie, getting evacuated due to a tornado warning, and rushing to your car with sirens going off!
Morgenstern likes cupcakes, is a nerd and plays with hair and makeup. Her heart is in Oklahoma; so says her Twitter bio.

@redcrossokc: Ugly weather potential for 55 million Americans today. Get the #tornado app http:// www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/ tornado-app … and alert friends in the area to be safe.

@MelissaNewtonTV: Leaving work early due to severe weather. Lots of lightning and dark ominous clouds near the Oklahoma Capitol.
Newton is a former television news reporter turned public relations consultant.

@byHeahterLong: Reaching out to friends/friends of friends in #OklahomaCity and praying. Sirens going off all over town. #tornado
Long is an assistant comment editor for The Guardian (U.S. edition).

@SchambachJess: Get in shelters in Moore NOW!!! Massive tornado. #okwx (3:02pm)
Schambach is a news anchor for KOCO Channel 5.

@TheLostOgle: This is bringing up some bad memories.
The Lost Ogle is a local blog.

@MikeFrancisWX: Moore Oklahoma is flattened..... I haven’t seen anything like this since 1999 #news
Francis is a TV meteorologist in Atlanta.

@whpsydaisy: I’m in my first tornado shelter ever praying for YOU ALL!
Tori is an Oklahoma girl, according to her Twitter bio.

@linda4news: This powerful tornado is heading to Moore. Take cover.
Cavanaugh is a news anchor for KFOR Channel 4.

@joewertz: Hunkered down in shell station in Moore. Tornado on top of us. Power flashes. Hopefully catching just edge. #okwx
Wertz is Stateimpact Oklahoma’s digital reporter.

@vinceconn: tornado coming... getting in closet
According to his Twitter bio, Conn is a Moore resident.

@lancewest: Monster tornado tracking toward Moore take shelter NOW. 3:05pm. #4warn
West is a news anchor and reporter for KFOR Channel 4 and KAUT Channel 43.

@mdwormus: okay, I live right next to a Briarwood Elementary and went there... this news gives me chills... I’ll be down there soon to make a differnce
Wormus, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, lives in Norman.

@MelissaNewtonTV: Lived thru my first tornado. Our neighborhood is very damaged. Some homes are gone. Me and the dogs are safe

@NicholasOxford: Complete devastation in Moore Oklahoma.
Oxford is a freelance photojournalist in Oklahoma City.

@Moody_D: This landed on my truck, in the midst of a chaotic tornado, My God still delivers
Moody’s Twitter bio indicates he is a Moore resident.

@hillartree: This morning, everything here was normal. What a difference 12 hours make.
She lives in Moore, according to her Twitter bio.

@mattdanner: I have an empty apartment in my name for another week or so if you know anyone needing a place to stay. #okwx
Danner lives in Edmond.

Soon after the tornado cut its deadly path, Twitter became a vehicle for people to express support, grief, love and a swirl of emotion.

@piersmorgan: This is utterly heart-breaking. #Oklahoma @carrieunderwood: Growing up in tornado alley, you always know what could happen...it doesn’t change how devastating it is when something does happen. #pray

@ActuallyNPH: I just can’t believe the scale of that tornado that touched down in Moore. A mile wide?!? My condolences go out to everyone affected.

@katyperry: Sending out prayers for the people of Oklahoma tonight. Let’s help, just text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate 10 dollars to those in need.

@TobyKeithMusic: Hometown got hit for the gazillionth time. Rise again Moore Oklahoma. Godspeed. Prayin – T

@Oprah: Oklahoma, again we pray.

@oliviamunn: The devastation through my home state of Oklahoma is staggering. All of my prayers are w/the victims, especially all those kids. XOX

 
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