Oklahoma schools hit by tornado had no safe rooms

Wreckage of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., is pictured from a National Guard helicopter during a tour of tornado damaged areas by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)

May 21, 2013 12:30:57 PM PDT
An emergency official says Oklahoma has reinforced tornado shelters in hundreds of schools across the state, but the two that were hit by this week's storms in suburban Oklahoma City did not have them.

Albert Ashwood is director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. He told reporters Tuesday it's up to each jurisdiction to set priorities for which schools get limited funding for safe rooms.

Ashwood says a shelter would not necessarily have saved more lives at the Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven children sheltering in above-ground classrooms were killed. He says no disaster mitigation measure is absolute.

He says authorities are going to review which schools have safe rooms and try to get them in more schools across the state.