Members of the Oklahoma National Guard conduct search and rescue operations after the tornado that ripped through Moore on Monday. Supplies are being brought to the victims via school bus.
Photo courtesy The National Guard
Student transportation provider Durham School Services is collecting donations across the Midwest for the Oklahoma tornado victims.
The company will transport the emergency supplies later this week to the areas affected by the devastating storm.
The tornado that hit Moore, Okla., on Monday was more than a mile wide at its peak and was categorized as EF5 — the highest rating on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Officials said that at least 24 people were killed, and hundreds were injured.
The day before, two people were killed by a tornado in Shawnee, Okla.
In Moore, the tornado leveled Plaza Towers Elementary School with many students, staff members and parents inside. Officials have said that seven children in the school were killed.
“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this terrible event,” said Durham Region Manager Kevin Rhine, who oversees the company’s school bus facilities in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. “We’re working quickly with our school district partners in several states to gather as many critical supplies as we can.”
The disaster relief items being gathered by Durham’s staff include bottled water, sports drinks, sanitary wipes, diapers, baby formula, hand towels, work gloves and individually wrapped snacks.
“We’ve set a collection deadline of 3:30 Thursday afternoon, with hopes of having fully stocked school buses heading to Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday,” Rhine said.
Several Durham drivers have already volunteered their time to transport the emergency supplies once the buses are filled and ready for the road.
“The response has been great,” Rhine said, “and I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s immediate action.”
Others have brought supplies to Moore via yellow bus. The Oklahoman reported on Tuesday that public school students from Guthrie, Okla., brought a school bus loaded with supplies to a relief center at First Baptist Church in Moore.