Moore Tornado Damage Estimated at $2 Billion - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Moore Tornado Damage Estimated at $2 Billion

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Officials say Monday's tornado likely did more than $2 billion in damage. Officials say Monday's tornado likely did more than $2 billion in damage.

Associated Press

Officials are estimating Monday’s deadly tornado caused more than $2 billion in damage.

Oklahoma Insurance Department spokeswoman Calley Herth told The Associated Press that the early damage tally is based on visual assessments of the extensive disaster zone that stretches more than 17 miles and the fact that Monday's tornado was on the ground for 40 minutes.

SLIDESHOW: See The Tornado Damage

The financial cost of the tornado in Moore could be greater than the $2 billion in damage from the 2011 tornado that killed 158 people in Joplin, Mo., Herth said, adding that the Joplin twister left a smaller trail of destruction.

Authorities have yet to say how many homes were damaged or destroyed, but an aerial view of the site shows whole neighborhoods obliterated, with gouged earth littered with splintered wood and pulverized cars.

Dan Ramsey, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, said a damage estimate in the low billions is "not surprising."

"Certainly it's in the hundreds of millions," Ramsey said. "I suppose seeing projections from similar disasters, it could stretch to a billion" or more.

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