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Deadly Oklahoma Tornado Widest on Record, Rare EF5

The deadly tornado that struck near Oklahoma City late last week had a record-breaking width of 2.6 miles and was the second top-of-the-scale EF5 twister to hit the area in less than two weeks, the National Weather Service said.

The massive tornado on May 31 avoided highly populated areas, and forecasters said that likely saved lives.

The weather service initially rated the tornado as an EF3, but it upgraded the ranking after surveying damage from the twister, which along with subsequent flooding killed 19 people, including three professional storm chasers. The weather service determined that the storm had winds reaching 295 mph.

Oklahoma City area has seen two of the extremely rare EF5 tornadoes in only 11 days. The other hit the suburb of Moore on May 20, killing 24 people and causing widespread damage. In 1999, Moore was hit by another EF5 with the strongest winds ever measured on Earth: 302 mph. To read more, click Insurance Journal