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    Survey Teams Assign Moore, Okla., Tornado EF-5 Rating

    May 23, 2013; 8:38 AM ET
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    Workers continue to dig through the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School after a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)

    A massive tornado with a rating of EF-5 touched down in Moore, Okla., causing devastating damage Monday afternoon.

    As recovery efforts were underway Tuesday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and emergency officials held a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

    "We don't have any firm numbers on the number of deaths that we have experienced," Fallin said regarding Moore, Okla. Bodies had been taken to local funeral homes and the state medical examiner's office, making it difficult to establish an accurate number. As of the time of the conference, 237 injuries were known.

    There are at least four confirmed deaths in Oklahoma City, according to Police Chief Bill Citty.

    Officials urged victims to text friends and family members to let them know they are all right to help resolve missing person reports.

    There are 20,000 people without power in Oklahoma City. Power has been restored to the water treatment plant. AT&T and Verizon have set up mobile units to assist with cell phone service.

    Legislation is in the works to tap state "rainy day" savings to set up emergency funds.

    Superintendent of Moore Public Schools Susan Pierce joined the conference, stressing that safety is and was the main priority at Moore schools.

    "Yesterday, our administrators put our crisis plan into action immediately," Pierce said. "When it was time to shelter we did just that."

    The tornado touched down at about 2:53 p.m. CDT in Moore, between Norman and Oklahoma City. Entire neighborhoods were leveled.

    Power lines were reported down on Santa Fe Road near the Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Okla. immediately after the event. Police reported that the elementary school had a large gas leak. Emergency crews experienced difficulty reaching the school due to large amounts of debris in the road.

    Police reported that children were trapped under debris at the Wellston Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School and requested all available personnel report to help with the rescue effort.

    Children were reported to be lost and wandering in groups as parents searched the area.

    The high resolution radar image (left) shows the radar image of the tornado right as it was about to move through Moore. The purple colors represent a ball of debris that the tornado had lifted into the air. The high resolution velocity field (right) shows the rapid movement of the tornado where the dark blues and the bright reds meet.

    Injured people in Moore were being transported by police to the nearest roads clear of debris so they could be transported to medical facilities set up nearby.

    More than 25 emergency response vehicles from the American Red Cross were prepared to move early Tuesday, with the even more expected to be deployed throughout the day.

    Moore, Okla., was hit by an EF-5 tornado on May 3, 1999. 44 people were killed.

    AccuWeather.com Staff Writer Jillian MacMath and Meteorologists Anthony Sagliani and Brian Lada contributed to this story.

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