Moore tornado update: 6 remain missing; 3,000 homes affected by storm

MOORE, Okla. - The death toll from Monday's tornado in Moore stands at 24, but officials say six people are still unaccounted for.

In a noon press conference Wednesday, city, state and federal officials gave an update on what is now a cleanup effort in the town with a population of about 50,000.

Up to 3,000 homes were affected by the EF-5 storm, which leveled much of what was in its path.

Of the missing six people, Oklahoma Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood said only that they are adults and search crews have not made contact with them at this point.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano joined Gov. Mary Fallin for the press conference.

"A lot of work to be done in terms of recovery," she said.  "(The) big need now is debris removal."

Napolitano said crews are working to expedite the debris-removal process and offered assurances that assistance will be in Moore until recovery is complete.

PHOTOS: The aftermath in Moore

FEMA Director Rich Serino said two disaster recovery centers opened Wednesday and many more will open in the coming days.

Twenty-nine people stayed overnight in the six Red Cross shelters set up in Moore, but around 150 have cycled in and out throughout the day, said Serino.

Moore Mayer Glenn Lewis said all residents will be allowed back to their neighborhoods by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Fallin said her office has received multiple phone calls and requests from people interested in donating money for safe rooms. She said she plans to announce something later in the day with regard to a "safe room fund."

RELATED: Medical examiner identifies tornado victims, causes of death

Earlier Wednesday, the state medical examiner released the identities for most of the 24 victims, though next-of-kin notifications were still taking place for others.  The causes of death were listed as blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president is scheduled to visit the tornado-ravaged city Sunday and meet with victims and first responders.
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