The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

June 1, 2013

Oklahoman’s Carrie Coppernoll debunks 6 May 20 tornado rumors

ENID, Okla. — Thumbs up to The Oklahoman’s Carrie Coppernoll for debunking six May 20 tornado rumors.

Coppernoll dispelled misinformation with the following facts:

• No children drowned at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore. Neither that school nor Briarwood Elementary has a basement.

• Fourth-through-six-grade students at Plaza Towers were not evacuated to a nearby church before the tornado arrived.

• Moore Public Schools administrators discussed impending weather that morning.

The superintendent emailed principals a preparedness reminder, and weather-aware staff reached out to principals a second time that afternoon.

• Besides Moore, the Red Cross reportedly helped Carney, Bethel Acres, Little Axe, Newcastle, Norman, Oklahoma City and Shawnee.

• Following much miscommunication, the death toll stands at 24.

• A collie guarded a deceased tornado victim, but the dog was a half-mile from home and the victim wasn’t its owner.

We won’t reprint incorrect innuendo, but you can take these facts to the bank. Thanks, Carrie!

During this active tornado season, we give thumbs down to overaggressive storm chasers.

Storm chasing can be dangerous, either for professionals or amateurs. And the Moore tornado hasn’t decreased their resolve.

“I wish it would,” Howard Bluestein, a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma, told the Washington Post. “It’s becoming difficult to go out in the middle of the countryside with your mobile Doppler radar and you get stuck in traffic.”

Meteorologist Alan Moller’s commonsense ethics included having a safe escape route, not taking chances and being courteous.

Besides battling the elements of severe weather, careful driving is most important, particularly when multitasking. We wouldn’t recommend storm chasing for the untrained.

Thumbs up to the 43-year career of Enid educator Ruth Ann Erdner.

Erdner, assistant superintendent of Enid Public Schools since 2005, will spend the coming three weeks tying up the loose ends and packing up her belongings at the central office.

June 12 will be her final day. Her plans for the future are not yet firmly set, but one thing is decided: She’s spending more time with her children and grandchildren.

Congrats on a distinguished career!

Finally, thumbs up for the concept of an Enid-Qatar sister run.

American service members stationed in the Middle Eastern country next year would join, in spirit, runners at Enid’s fifth-annual Red Dirt Run of Honor.

Fort Sill-based Chief Warrant Officer Karen Beattie wants to see it happen, and we agree. It’s a great idea.�

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