May 21st, 2013
09:59 AM ET
1 year ago

Sen. Inhofe: 'This thing was huge'

(CNN) – Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma said Tuesday morning there was "still a lot of uncertainty" in the aftermath of the disastrous tornado that barreled through Moore, Oklahoma.

But one thing he knows for sure is the area has a long way to go in terms of recovery and emphasized a need to raise a lot of money in the wake of the storm.

"This thing was huge. This is one of the largest ones we had," the Republican senator said on CNN's "Starting Point."

Inhofe pointed to the devastating 1999 tornado that struck the Oklahoma City area, which still ranks as one of the 10 costliest tornadoes in the U.S. since 1950 and caused $1.3 billion in damage. The May EF5 twister killed 36 people and smashed some of the same communities as Monday's tornado.

Officials have initially confirmed that 51 people–including 20 children–were killed in Monday's storm.

Having lived in Oklahoma since he was a child, Inhofe is no stranger to tornadoes, but he said Monday's storm was "so much worse" because of its size and scope.

"I don't know many people who have been raised in Oklahoma who haven't actually been in a tornado one time or another," he said.

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration late Monday night, making available federal funds for the area. Asked what kind of assistance the state needs, Inhofe told CNN's John Berman they "have everything that [they] need" in terms of immediate recovery efforts.

"We have individual assistance, we have public assistance so that came immediately," he said. "I know [Governor] Mary Fallin was in contact with the president, so that's behind us now, that kind of assistance.

"But there are little things you can could do," the fiscal conservative said. "The Salvation Army and the Red Cross have a number where you can make small contributions. It's going to be necessary to raise a lot of money. We had to do this in 1999."

Inhofe, along with fellow Republican Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, voted against the Senate bill earlier this year appropriating massive federal funds for disaster relief after Superstorm Sandy.

Inhofe said after the 1999 storm, more people in Oklahoma built storm shelters and basement safe areas–which can be incredibly expensive in Oklahoma. But Inhofe said those decisions saved lives.

"There would have been a lot more people killed we believe if they had not had that warning some 14 years ago," he said.


Filed under: Jim Inhofe • Oklahoma
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Independent

    Marcus

    Independent – Between your 'research' and the CBO reports on the current crisis (all available on the web, go check them if you want to find 'points to debunk') which one should get the more credit?
    You can try to twist it all you want but by the end of the day the fact remains... GOP brokes the economy, Dems fix it.

    PS: I trully hope that you didn't included as part of your data in your research that piece of paper made by those two Harvard economists that, at best, doesn't know how to use the Microsoft Excel...
    _____________________________

    You can say what you want to but research and data does not lie!!! I did not use those 2 papers in my research. My point is that you can spin data anyway you want if you look only at specific studies and do not take EVERYTHING into account!!! Fact is Clinton contributed to the great recession just as much as Bush did!!! All you blind party followers are the problem with our political system today (both right and left)!!! Fact is you are saying your conclusion based on EMOTIONS and OPINION and not hard data!!!!

    May 21, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    Got a relief fundraising idea: everyone who wants to blast Inhofe on this blog is morally obligated to donate $10 to the relief fund of their choice, be it Red Cross or whoever. He deserves it, and the folks in OK need the help.

    May 21, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Give it up, at this point you are just trying to convince yourself!!!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Feeling left out, as usual?
    Don't come for me unless I send for you.

    May 21, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Peoples State of Illinois

    "But I'm just a callous liberal what do I know?"
    --------
    You have demonstrated that you know nothing. If you bothered reading, I would not have to clarify further. At the time I wrote that comment, there were only a couple on the right being "political," and several on the left. It got worse later.
    By the way, where did I ever...."You called everyone who didn't think YOUR way basically insensitive and callous to the people of OK" You are attributing words/thoughts to me that I never uttered. You are not the only one on here that does that. Is it just people on the left that do so? To try to justify their hatred for the people that do not believe the same as they do?

    May 21, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Marcus

    Independent – Your 'research' is not available for us to see. CBO reports are.
    CBO reports says that the previous administration economic management (two wars of the books, unfunded Medicare part and, more important than anything else, TAX CUTS in wartimes) was pivotal in the 'making' of the current crisis.
    Your research, whose sources you left unnamed (why?), says otherwise but, again, I don't have access to your research to see HOW did you get to that conclusion.
    Since CBO is, per definition and has proved it through its existence, a non-partisan organization and all the sources of its reports are listed on them, I simply CAN'T take an unseen research over their reports.
    You wanna call it 'emotional' behavior?
    Your right.
    Mine is to call YOUR defense of your unseen research 'emotional' as well.

    May 21, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Jeff in Virginia

    Senator Inhofe- Sandy was huge, and you didn't think the victims of that storm were worthy of government help. The morons who keep re-electing you should reap what they sow. Thankfully, they won't be hung out to dry because we have enough members in congress that actually have a conscience.

    Watch these relief votes. Anybody who votes against this relief should get the boot, period.

    May 21, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    May you have an interesting life
    -------------------------------------------------
    I live a limitless life Peoples State of Illinois. Free of unnecessary fear, productive, and fully engaged.
    Only those that live in fear of what others think of them live "interesting" lives.
    I wish you joy.

    May 21, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    Peoples State of Illinois

    @AZ Girl

    Ok Dom & Dutch, I got your back. ~~~> Peoples State: TODAY you're not partisan? My sweet grandma! (Who's buried in Dixon BTW) You are SO! You called everyone who didn't think YOUR way basically insensitive and callous to the people of OK, yet not a word calling out Republican Reps for their insensitivity and callousness. Can't get much more partisan than that. So get off your high horse.
    -----
    Here is what I posted on the other blog about this disaster:

    Peoples State of Illinois

    @The Real Tom Paine

    No one should be using this horrible incident as an opportunity to indulge themselves in online political attacks: lets give it a rest for a day, shall we? Lets hope and pray for the safety and well-being of those afflicted by this catastrophe, and do something to help those in need.
    ––
    Agreed, though quite a few from the left (and a couple from the right) have already done begun the political attacks.
    ---
    As you were saying? May you too, have an interesting life.
    ***************
    Life is what you make of it. You make you own opportunities, you make yor own mistakes. Have a good evening, all. Same time tomorrow.

    May 21, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You have demonstrated that you know nothing. If you bothered reading, I would not have to clarify further."

    In the post you reference you may or may not have had good intentions. Only you know what was in your mind at the time. Since then, you have lost all credibility through your own comments using your own finger pointing and your own needless mockery of others as a ... tool.

    May 21, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ AZ Girl
    I don't normally respond to folks like Peoples because more often than not they are looking for attention, and I don't like to quench their "thirst".
    But I could not help but notice that Peoples State of Illinois was attempting, albeit poorly, to chastise you at 3:33pm acting like "he who is without sin" yet by 3:38 on a different post the real People came shining through!
    These people can't help themselves. They are dumb and hope that we're dumber. The only way they can fake empathy is by recreating the truth.
    Thanks for the jump in though!!

    May 21, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Data Driven

    @People/Illinois,

    Admittedly, I don't possess a sterling "character", but I don't believe that pointing out Inhofe's voting record on these very same issues is illustrative of that fact
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sniffit

    "Now save the drama for someone else's mama."

    Boom! Throw a shoe at him too!
    -------------------------------------------------
    LOL!!
    Freakin' Sniffitt!! ROFLMAO!!!!

    May 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Independent

    Marcus

    Independent – Your 'research' is not available for us to see. CBO reports are.
    CBO reports says that the previous administration economic management (two wars of the books, unfunded Medicare part and, more important than anything else, TAX CUTS in wartimes) was pivotal in the 'making' of the current crisis.
    Your research, whose sources you left unnamed (why?), says otherwise but, again, I don't have access to your research to see HOW did you get to that conclusion.
    Since CBO is, per definition and has proved it through its existence, a non-partisan organization and all the sources of its reports are listed on them, I simply CAN'T take an unseen research over their reports.
    You wanna call it 'emotional' behavior?
    Your right.
    Mine is to call YOUR defense of your unseen research 'emotional' as well.
    __________________________

    My response is not emotional I can assure you of that, the CBO reports you refer to address the debt and that is NOT what I am referring to. My research aimed at determine what caused the great recession and how can we avoid it in the future. My sources are too numerous to list and unless you are in school or a professor (or want to pay a lot of money) you do not have access to all the peer reviewed journals. I have not studied the CBO report in detail but I have glanced over it and it deals primarily with the dept and spending of our country (maybe I miss understood it and need to look at it in detail). Apples to Oranges!

    May 21, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Independent

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Give it up, at this point you are just trying to convince yourself!!!
    -----------------
    Feeling left out, as usual?
    Don't come for me unless I send for you.
    ________________

    So defensive aren't ya? I come on here cause I like to see both sides and yes I argue a lot for the right cause none of you show that side of it, I want a COMPLETE picture. Such a hateful person! People that are defensive are usually the most guilty of all!!!!!

    May 21, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Marcus

    Independent – Apples and Oranges?
    Is that your answer to the question: 'what are your sources?'
    Again, let me repeat myself, CBO reports about the 2008 crisis shows 'causes' and 'consequences' of said crisis and they list all their sources. So I am not talking about apples while you are talking about oranges, we're talking about the same thing: What caused the crisis.
    You don't have enough space to list your sources? Fine, list 5 or 10 of them (the more important ones in your opinion please).

    May 21, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. barry g

    What I don't understand is that days before the toronado hit Moore, OK other storms and toronados were in the area.
    Why didn't they close the schools instead of leaving them open when they knew that they were in harms way. Makes no sense to me.

    May 21, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Nonsensical

    It has nothing to do with climate change you dodo!

    May 22, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  18. steven

    these folks who live in these red states that have been affected by the tornado and storms who in the past were the first to tell big government to get out of their lives are really a quick draw when it comes to sucking on the government teat the first time they need help....bet these same folks when they next step into the voting booth will be voting for smaller government and ranting about getting government out of their lives....

    May 22, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
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