Tornado that struck Moore, Okla., followed path of devastating '99 twister

1999 tornado caused $1 billion in damage

MOORE, Okla. - The city of Moore, Okla., -- devastated by Monday's tornado outbreak -- is all too familiar with the power of deadly storms.

In 1999, an F5 tornado with winds of more than 260 miles-per-hour tore through the Oklahoma City suburb, causing more than $1 billion in damage and killing 41 people.

The tornado that leveled some 1,800 homes in Moore was one of dozens of tornados to touch down across the southern plains on May 3, 1999.

PHOTOS | Massive storm damage near Oklahoma City

The twister, commonly referred to as the Bridge Creek-Moore tornado, is recorded on the National Weather Service website as tornado A9. It was the ninth tornado to spin off from the powerful "A" storm in central Oklahoma. The weather service tracked eight such storms in a 24-hour period.

In the official history of the storm, the weather service called it a "violent and long-tracked tornado".

The weather service says the tornado was wedge-shaped, and birthed two satellite tornados during its nearly 90-minute lifespan. It traveled roughly 38 miles, at times clearing a path as wide as three-quarters of a mile.

President Bill Clinton visited five days after the storm to tour the area and see the damage. In his remarks he offered condolences to the people of Oklahoma, and thanked them for the example they set.

"Thank you, for once again showing the whole country what is best about America," Clinton said. "God bless you and thank you."

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