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Science and Technology

KSU researchers follow the path of deadly OK tornado
A damage assessment team will film the path of the tornado to document the recovery and learn how to improve disaster readiness 

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
The tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma has been ranked EF5, the highest possible damage ranking. Wind speeds are estimated to have exceeded 200 mph.
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A researcher from Kent State University is heading to Oklahoma to study the damage from this week’s deadly tornado. WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports the research could enhance recovery efforts, and save lives in future disasters.

LISTEN: Studying the path of destruction

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Doctoral student Adam Cinderich is part of a damage assessment team in Kent State’s geography department. He was already heading to Joplin, Missouri this week to mark recovery efforts exactly two years after a tornado there killed 162 people. Now he will use a dash cam fitted with a GPS signal to study the path of the twister that tore through Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24.

Cinderich says, “when we go down every six months, we’re able to collect the same path and monitor recovery over time.”

Andrew Curtis leads the research effort.  He says the data will help town planners not just rebuild homes and businesses, but recover a sense of community.    

Curtis says, “When you see these events you realize they have a very traumatic impact on many people so that’s why we work on these so in future events some of that impact can be lessened.”

Curtis says disaster assessment can also help save lives.  Several states are requiring schools to add safe rooms where students can shelter during tornados based on past data.

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