Reconnaissance Report on Damage to Engineered Structures During the May 1999 Oklahoma City Tornado.
Reconnaissance Report on Damage to Engineered Structures
During the May 1999 Oklahoma City Tornado.
Riley, M. A.
NISTIR 6899; 54 p. August 2002.
Available from:: National Technical Information Service
(NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
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Order number: PB2003-100168
weather effects; damage; structures; damage
investigation; structural damage; tornado; death;
schools; hotels; industrial buildings; commercial
On 3 May 1999, a major storm passed through the
mid-west, spawning at least 76 tornadoes, and killing
more than 50 people. The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
metropolitan area was the hardest hit, with 43
fatalities, and 10,000 homes destroyed or severely
damaged. The losses due to damage caused by the storm
exceeded $1.1 billion. The National Weather Service
rated the tornado that struck Oklahoma City as a F5 on
the Fujita tornado intensity scale. In the aftermath of
the tornadoes, the Building and Fire Research Laboratory
Structures Division sent a team to investigate the
damage to engineered structures in the Oklahoma City
area. The damage reconnaissance included an aerial
survey of the largest tornado tracks in central Oklahoma
and a two-day ground survey. The ground survey included
visits to eight damage sites with twelve damaged
engineered structures. This report provides an overview
of observed damage to engineered structures, including
schools, hotels, and industrial buildings, reports
observations on debris accumulation, briefly discusses
the tornado rating, and recommends actions to reduce