Senator urges donations for tornado victims
May 25th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Senator urges donations for tornado victims

(CNN) - The images of destroyed homes, crushed playgrounds and shattered lives around storm-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma, are heart-wrenching enough, and yet more devastating because the area has been hit hard before by tornadoes.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican from the state, asked people around the country to donate to victims from Monday's deadly tornado as they seek to "overcome this tragedy as we have demonstrated in the past.

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"Fourteen years ago, on May 3, 1999, an eerily similar tornado struck the same area of Moore, Oklahoma, and again in 2003," he said in the GOP weekly address. "The images and the stories from the storm earlier this week are nothing new. Oklahoma will persevere and overcome this tragedy as we have demonstrated in the past."

Monday's EF5 twister tore through Moore and nearby communities near Oklahoma City in the middle of the afternoon. Two dozen people were killed, including 10 children.

Inhofe specifically noted the "selfless" acts of teachers who protected their students at two elementary schools in the path of that storm.

"Second-grade teacher Tammy Glasgow kept praying with her students and reminding them how much she loved them as she and her students took cover in a school closet," he said.

"We had Suzanna Haley - she was a first-grade special education teacher in Briarwood Elementary School, suffered a severe injury when part of a school desk was impaled in the back of her leg while protecting the students in her classroom. The most heart-wrenching testimony I've heard is from the person who was responsible for matching the missing kids with the missing parents," he said.

Officials estimate that 12,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Inhofe urged his audience to donate to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, two groups among the many on the ground there.

Also active in the region is FEMA, the federal disaster relief agency which has been at the center of political fights over aid.

Inhofe initially voted against appropriating additional federal funds for relief after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast in October, joining other Republicans who said the aid should be offset by spending cuts in other areas.

He told CNN on Tuesday that he did not foresee that situation arising this time because "we wouldn't need (an) additional appropriations bill" to fund costs in Oklahoma.

The state's other Republican senator, Tom Coburn, also voted against Sandy relief funding over budget concerns but wrote in an opinion piece on this week "this disagreement doesn't exist" when it comes to his state.

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency has $11.6 billion available in the fund for assistance to victims in all federally declared disasters, and this is likely more than sufficient to help victims in Oklahoma," he wrote.

"My position has never been to oppose all forms of disaster aid," he wrote. "My position has been to oppose politicians who use disasters to spend money that has nothing to do with helping victims of disasters. The hard truth is both parties have abused the emergency spending process in Congress for many years."

In the weekly address, Inhofe said his state is hurting, but appreciates the outreach from across America.

"Devastation such as this tends to bring us closer together as a country," he said.

Monday's tornado followed another twister that killed two people in the state the day before, authorities said.

Filed under: Oklahoma
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. don in albuquerque

    I will not even do the respectful thing and call this toad as senator. He deserves no respect, however, the people of Oklahoma do.

    May 25, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    USA needs to learn that God is showing us something here–instead of bickering by Congress idiots because of progressive black president, I urge them to set aside all and work for the progress of this "BEAUTIFUL-NATION on earth. We need to Chang the legal system–lot of flaws. Watch crooky attorneys–their taxes and unethical behavior and over-chargings. God bless, u USA...

    May 25, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Already donated but it seems that when the shoe is on the other foot the repugs rally around their disaster.
    Katrina or Sandy anyone?

    May 25, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    My response to Senator Imhoff is similar to his response to Superstorm Sandy – "Don't they have insurance to cover things like this?"

    May 25, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. kamarasune

    Americans are wonderful about giving in times of tragedy However these disasters have turned into money making ventures with fewer and fewer of the funds reaching the people it was actually intended for. Every community needs to have something set up to make sure those funds get there and stay there for those that need it. The people of Haiti, Joplin, and New Orleans were given untold fortunes and many were still living in tents long after the disaster...Where did it all go?

    May 25, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. mightyduk

    If this was Iraq and contractors could get filthy rich there would be money thrown all around.

    May 25, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Thomas

    Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican , what a hypocrite !

    Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he repeated his frequent claim that human influenced climate change is impossible because “God’s still up there.” Inhofe cited Genesis 8:22 to claim that it is “outrageous” and arrogant for people to believe human beings are “able to change what He is doing in the climate.”

    May 25, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    It's just because the gop is to cheap and stupid to use taxpayers money for the greater good of the American people and would rather use it to continue tax breaks for the rich and keep the 40 billion dallar yearly giveaway to the oil companies. If the gop wants to live in a third world country they should leave and go to somila where they share the same values or lack of.

    May 25, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Len

    Great posts. All truthful. Remember to vote in 2014.....

    May 25, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. luke,az

    Republicans are ruining America. They continue to obstruct and distract instead of helping our country dig out of this recession. The GOP( guns over people ) is more of a mastodon than an elephant.

    May 25, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Not one more red cent to a red state after what they did to NJ. EVER

    May 25, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Now Inhofe wants money from around the country?
    You mean the folks in OK don't have insurance? Lordy hear him.
    Maybe you can talk to cantor from VA who doesn't like giving money to blue states after a natural disaster without getting what he wants when he wants it but when his district suffered a small earthquake he came begging on his knees. He can tell you how to get money from that BIG government you tea trolls don't want telling you what to do unless you are the ones telling women, gays and others what they need to do in our levels of government (local, state, federal).
    How does it feel?

    May 26, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. TNPatriot

    Until Inhofe and Coburn personally donate at least 5 yrs salary each, OK deserves what the don't get for electing these 1diots.

    May 26, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |