‘Hell in the Heartland’ television special examines deadly May 2013 events that changed Oklahoma forever

Gaylord News Indepth reporters have spent the past year producing a one-hour television show, which marks the anniversary of the 2013 Moore and El Reno tornadoes that killed 33 people.


“Hell in the Heartland: 10 Years” examines those traumatic two weeks in May and explores what has happened in the years following the storms that changed Oklahoma forever.

Executive Producer and OU sophomore Courtney Armstrong said, “Growing up as a student in Moore, my perspective was very limited because I was young at the time. It’s been an incredible experience to look at how much this affected other people across the community.”

During the special, Oklahoma City meteorologists David Payne and Damon Lane recalled their efforts covering the story that day while worrying about their own families at home.

Gaylord In-depth reporters also interviewed the family of Kyle Davis, who was just eight years old when the Moore tornado hit his school, Plaza Towers Elementary, killing Kyle and six other children. The program looks at the efforts of Kyle’s family to install storm shelters in Oklahoma schools over the last decade.

Additionally, “Gaylord In-depth” reporters investigated how weather technology has changed since several experienced storm chasers died in the El Reno tornado.

Plus, they examine how weather communications have improved in the past ten years to serve Oklahoma’s growing multi-language communities.

The program also covered how Moore’s hospital, businesses, and attractions like Orr Family Farm have recovered and thrived since 2013.

“Hell in the Heartland: 10 Years” can be viewed on the Gaylord News website at https://gaylordnews.net/


Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  For more stories by Gaylord News go to GaylordNews.net