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May 22nd, 2013
09:02 PM ET

Coburn: Shelters is none of our business; leave it up to the state

CNN confirmed Wednesday that seven children died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, crushed by tornado debris. 

Would they be alive if the school had a storm shelter?

Could the city, the state or the federal government have done more to prevent the magnitude of this tragedy?
Key questions as president Obama prepares to visit the storm ravaged areas on Sunday.

Today his Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano toured the affected area.

The death toll from Monday's tornado now stands at 24. Oklahoma government puts the injured at 325 people.

OutFront tonight: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).


Filed under: News • Oklahoma Tornado • Politics
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Old Dog

    Just revisiting the suggestions of schools and hospitals having hardened storm shelters. Because of soil, not just a matter of digging a hole. Here it needs to be dynamited, much more expensive. Adding one at home is owner's choice, but due to cost, looking at options for partial funding / rebates. Safest place from tornado is below ground.

    May 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  2. schoolsub

    Shelters don't need to be mandated (just like health insurance) but anyone with a half a brain knows that both are necessary!

    May 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Mandatory shelters? Want to tell people how to build their homes now? Aint that BIG GOVT righties ?

    May 23, 2013 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Michael

      Sure. No problem. Just don't come to any government agency for a handout then. You want FEMA and other aid after a disaster, then build a shelter in tornado zones, raise your house if you are near a river, build out of concrete if in a fire zone, otherwise, you are on you own.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  4. judith auman

    Coburn is an absolute idiot! It's none of the Federal Governments business to get ivolved with enforcing any requirements for safe shelters in every home, school or business. REALLY! How cost effective is it now for the GREAT city of Moore to again have to rebuild for the third time or for the families who have lost their loved ones who they'll never be able to replace and it's none of the governments business. Geez, if it's none of your business why even bother showing up, or is your way of doing what you think is the right thing, well we can see your appearance and your comments tonight were clearly the wrong thing! According to the website http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=tornadodata-city-moore – since 1890 Cleveland County, Cities included were New Castle, Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman and there's been 21 Tornadoes – I realize that maybe the entire state of Oklahoma doesn't need a safe room or storm shelter, however, those areas/cities that are more prone to threats of Tornadoes should be equipped with the tools necessary to keep those areas and more specifically the people in those Tornadoe prone areas SAFE! It's absolutely ludicrous to after the millions of dollars the city, state and federal government have now had to spend and reinvest in these areas to rebuild. I think not only should there be a safe room or storm cellar or shelter for every home but the homes should be built to be able o withstand more distructive tornadoes. In the more recent days since the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoe struck Moore, the Weather Channel had commented that those areas for years have been called "Tornadoe Ally" are changing with the new weather patterns that the areas that new tornadoe ally's will be created with the weather patterns that have been changing over the years. Why knowing that Oklahoma City and surroundig areas are a RED FlAG for tornadoes why wouldn't the Federal government get involved as a preventative measue instead of coming in post castastrophy to help which takes forever for those to receive help. Tom Coburn, maybe you need to get a better understanding of how these type of horrible events are affecting the GREAT state you represent because tonight you did a very poor job of representing them! Just my opinion! Erin, I'd ripped him to shreds, you were way too nice to him! My grandma use to call people like him spineless and his responses were just that spineless! Thanks

    May 23, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
  5. hllg

    i'm from oklahoma. i went and helped during the recovery of 1999 tornado. i feel coburn shouldn't be so insistent that schools don't need shelters. all schools need them. period.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  6. John Slater

    Coburn's responses to Erin's questions were disgraceful. Would a shelter have helped saved the children's lives? Of course it would have. The Senator's answers were symptomatic of the problem.

    May 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply

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