In the late afternoon of May 20, many Oklahomans emerged from underground shelters, bathtubs and hallways to the destruction around them.
In certain areas, what was there and hour earlier no longer existed or only partially remained. A favorite restaurant. The corner convenience store. Their place of work. A friend’s home. Their own home. A school.
“It was as if someone took a scrub brush and wiped away people’s homes,” said Ed Angala, a Boeing Oklahoma City Systems Engineer and the director of operations for the Oklahoma Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).
While the situation was overwhelming to many, some were already making plans to begin recovery. One of the first steps was to completely assess the damage and loss to the city of Moore and surrounding areas. City, state and federal officials needed to know the extent of the storm’s anger so they could provide the proper assistance immediately and long term.
The all-volunteer Civil Air Patrol Oklahoma Wing knew exactly what needed to be done. In fact, Angala was in the midst of preparing flight plans when the Federal Emergency Management Agency called requesting his team fly over the path of the EF-5 tornado and pictorially document the destruction.
Watch the video to get a glimpse of what the CAP witnessed.