Deadly Oklahoma tornado is shocking reminder of Joplin disaster

Red Cross relief begins for Moore, Oklahoma tornado victims.

The deadliest tornado to hit the United States in two years carved a path of destruction through Moore, Okla., Monday afternoon.

Just one day later, relief efforts kicked into high gear.

This comes the day before Missouri residents mark the second anniversary of the Joplin tornado.

The Heart of Missouri chapter was the first Red Cross chapter to send a representative to Oklahoma. The volunteer is a mental health nurse who will be supervising a group of nurses from across the country.

The Heart of Missouri chapter also has two disaster vehicles on standby for deployment at any time in the coming weeks.

Events like this hit close to home for Red Cross Executive Director Dave Griffith.

"When I saw the images last night of the elementary school...I've got a granddaughter that's in the third grade. My mind immediately went to her," Griffith said.

Monday afternoon, tornado survivors came out of their shelters to find complete devastation - something Joplin, Mo., residents were doing just two years ago tomorrow. Seeing the images of the damage in Moore struck a chord with Joplin tornado survivors.

Eryn Aubey was on the north side of Joplin in her apartment when the tornado hit. She emerged from her shelter unscathed, but her world was changed when she started driving to find her boyfriend.

"I got to his apartment, and his entire apartment was gone and his car was completely destroyed, and there was no sign of him anywhere," Aubey said.

After several hours of fighting for phone service, Aubey found out her boyfriend, who is now her husband, was alive in a hospital in Miami, Okla. He had been thrown from the bath tub in his apartment into the complex's parking lot, which shattered his hip.

Aubey said the images of Moore make her anxious and reminded her of Joplin.

"It's just so incredibly sad and almost sickening because you just don't want something that you've already seen and something that's already happened to you and affected you and two years later we're still recovering but we're not there yet. To see that start fresh somewhere else you just can't's hard to even imagine and just say, 'wow I know what you're going to be going through for the next few years,'" Aubey said.

Moore is no stranger to catastrophic tornadoes.

The first tornado emergency ever issued occured in Moore on May 3, 1999, when an EF-5 ripped through the city, recording winds more than 300 miles per hour just above the ground.

A tornado emergency is issued when a tornado is moving into a densely populated area.

A short four years later, another twister left devastation in the same town in May 2003.

If you'd like to donate to the recovery efforts, you can drop a check off at the local Heart of Missouri chapter at 431 E. McCarty St. in Jefferson City, go online to or text REDCROSS to the number 90999.