The tornado touched down at 2:45 pm C.T. on Monday — only 5 minutes after the first warnings went out. Moore residents had less than 30 minutes before the massive storm entered the western part of the city. The massive, howling tornado pulverized a vast swath of the Oklahoma City suburbs, chewing up homes and businesses and severely damaging a hospital and two elementary schools. The storm, rated an EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, carved a trail as much as 1.3 miles wide and 17 miles long.
Damage assessments conducted Tuesday showed the tornado packed winds, at times, between 200 and 210 miles per hour, making it an EF5 — the strongest category of tornadoes measured, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
The tornado’s width spanned 1.3 miles — the length of more than 22 football fields lined up end-to-end. Given its breadth and power, it ranks among some of the strongest storms ever to strike the United States.