Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday that her state will rebuild, and she asked for prayers to aid the rescue and recovery.
”Will we be back? Absolutely. Oklahoma has gone through this a couple times, and we’re resilient, strong, courageous people,” Fallin said on “Good Morning America.”
The Republican governor continued: “You know, you probably remember the [Oklahoma City bombing in 1995], which I was in office back then [as lieutenant governor], we went through a tremendous tragedy and loss of life at that time. Oklahoma City has rebounded. It has rebuilt. Oklahoma people are very strong, and they will make it through this, but we’re going to need a lot of prayer and a lot of support to get back on our feet.”
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that at least 24 people — seven of them children — were killed during Monday’s tornadoes, which whipped through the suburban-Oklahoma City region. More than 120 people, including about 50 children, are hospitalized because of the tornadoes, according to The AP. This is the fourth tornado to strike the area since 1998.
“It was massive destruction last night,” Fallin told The AP. “It was an incredible sight to see how big the debris field was and how much destruction there was. It would be remarkable for anyone to survive.”
Meanwhile, Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Tuesday first responders were still hoping to rescue children from the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, which was demolished by a tornado Monday afternoon.
”I can tell you it’ll be search and rescue until we know for certain that we’ve lost those children,” Lankford said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It will always be search and rescue all the way to the end. This is very similar to 1995, we had found people that were found in the Murrah Building bombing very late and in a very difficult rubble situation. And so we will continue to watch and wait and hope for people until the very end.”
Lankford represents Oklahoma City and the district just to the north of Moore. The suburb is represented by Rep. Tom Cole, who became emotional Monday on CNN while discussing the damage to his hometown.