Oklahoma tornadoes: Tornado damage could exceed $2 billion

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak said insured losses from the tornado that hit Moore, south Oklahoma City and Newcastle on Monday could surpass $2 billion.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Modified: May 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm •  Published: May 22, 2013

Damage from the deadly tornado that struck Moore on Monday could surpass $2 billion in insured losses, state Insurance Commissioner John Doak estimated Wednesday.

Doak said it is possible the tornado that ripped through parts of Newcastle, south Oklahoma City and Moore could be worse than the one that struck Joplin, Mo., about two years ago, causing more than $2 billion in insured losses.

The Joplin twister left a smaller trail of destruction than Monday's tornado, which left an extensive damage zone stretching more than 17 miles.

Monday's tornado was on the ground for 50 minutes, damaging or destroying as many as 13,000 homes, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said Wednesday.

Authorities have yet to present concrete numbers for how many homes were damaged or destroyed. The view from the air shows whole neighborhoods obliterated, and gouged earth littered with splintered wood and pulverized cars.

Dan Ramsey, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, said a damage estimate in the low billions is “not surprising.”

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