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Deadly tornados tore through several Oklahoma communities on May 19, 20 and 31, 2013. These are the stories of natural disaster and its aftermath, and of communities healing and recovering.

El Reno Tornado, Now EF5, Sets Record

Meteorologists have upgraded the tornado that hit Canadian County, west of Oklahoma City, as an EF5, the top of the ratings. The width of the tornado, 2.6 miles, is being called the widest ever recorded.

The upgrade came after researchers from the University of Oklahoma and meteorologists with the National Weather Service evaluated the tornado using information from a mobile research radar.

The truck-based RaXpol radar was in the field measuring storms when the twister hit.

The tornado’s widest point came after it passed east of U.S. Hwy 81, south of El Reno, according to information released by the National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office.

The report says the tornado traveled 16.2 miles and was on the ground for 40 minutes.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office says 18 people died in the storm, including the tornado and flooding.

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