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Twister-devastated residents bracing for many more hours of searches

May 21st, 2013 - National News

— It's been a long night in the tornado-blasted suburbs of Oklahoma City and residents are bracing for a long day as well, digging through the rubble and hoping not to add to a death toll that's at least 51.

Overnight, spotlights illuminated massive piles of shredded cinder block, insulation and metal as crews did their grim work. Scores of blocks that used to be neighborhoods have been flattened.

— A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office says as many as 40 more deaths could eventually be added to the toll from a ferocious tornado that slammed into Oklahoma City suburbs. That toll now stands at 51, including at least 20 children. Rescuers have spent the night digging through the rubble of destroyed buildings, including a school.

Mayor Glenn Lewis says the community is already thinking ahead even as volunteers and first responders dig through the rubble of a massive tornado that killed at least 51 people in the city and other Oklahoma City suburbs. Moore says new street signs are already being printed. Lewis was also mayor in 1999 when another huge twister with 300 mph winds hit. He says that recovery took 61 days.

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