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Weather hampers clean-up

12:41 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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(NBC NEWS) -- Heavy rain and thunderstorms have rolled through Moore, Oklahoma, hampering cleanup and drenching already damaged possessions amidst the rubble.

"It's Mother Nature's one two punch," said volunteer Jason Belcourt.

Thursday marks a new level of grief as residents lay to rest the first of the 24 killed in the storm, one of the students at Plaza Towers Elementary.

All victims have now been identified.

The youngest was just 4-months-old.

The bad weather contrasts sharply with Wednesday's sunny skies, which allowed crews to make solid progress on the 17-mile path of destruction left behind by the powerful EF-5 tornado.

Federal authorities toured the site and pledged assistance.

"People are really hurting. There is a lot of recovery to do yet," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Key for now are the thousands of boots on the ground, restoring power to the area, helping homeowners sort through debris and simply providing comfort.

Cleanup and rebuilding will take months and initial estimates put the damage at more than $2-billion.

 

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