1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado
The 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado (locally referred to as the May 3rd tornado) was a large and exceptionally powerful F5 tornado in which the highest wind speeds ever measured globally were recorded at 301 ± 20 miles per hour (484 ± 32 km/h) by a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar. Considered the strongest tornado ever recorded to have affected the metropolitan area, the tornado devastated southern portions of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, along with surrounding suburbs and towns to the south and southwest of the city during the early evening of Monday, May 3, 1999. The tornado covered 38 miles (61 km) during its 85-minute existence, destroying thousands of homes, killing 36 people (plus an additional five indirectly), and leaving US$1 billion (1999 USD) in damage, ranking it as the fifth-costliest on record not accounting for inflation.The tornado first touched down at 6:23 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) in Grady County, Oklahoma, roughly two miles (3.2 km) south-southwest of the town of Amber. It quickly intensified into a violent F4, and gradually reached F5 status after traveling 6.5 miles (10.5 km), at which time it struck the town of Bridge Creek. It fluctuated in strength, ranging from F2 to F5 status before it crossed into Cleveland County where it reached F5 intensity for a third time shortly before entering the city of Moore. By 7:30 pm, the tornado crossed into Oklahoma County and battered southeastern Oklahoma City, Del City, and Midwest City before dissipating around 7:48 p.m. just outside Midwest City. A total of 8,132 homes, 1,041 apartments, 260 businesses, eleven public buildings, and seven churches were damaged or destroyed.
Large-scale search and rescue operations immediately took place in the affected areas. A major disaster declaration was signed by President Bill Clinton the following day (May 4) allowing the state to receive federal aid. In the following months, disaster aid amounted to $67.8 million. Reconstruction projects in subsequent years led to a safer, tornado-ready community. However, on May 20, 2013, nearby areas adjacent to the 1999 storm's track along with some of the same areas in the path of the tornado were again devastated by another large and violent EF5 tornado, resulting in 24 fatalities and extreme damage in the South Oklahoma City/Moore area.