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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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May 21st, 2013
08:14 PM ET

Tornado cut similar path as one that hit the region in 1999

Many in the path of Monday's deadly tornado must have felt like they were reliving a nightmare.

That is because the tornado took a nearly identical path as another monster twister, and left a similar amount of devastation in its wake.

A ruthless force of nature tore through Oklahoma on May 3, 1999. For nearly an hour and a half, the 1999 tornado pummeled a 38-mile path that included the areas of Newcastle and Moore, Oklahoma.

In what can only be described as a cruel twist of fate, the paths of the 1999 and 2013 storms were nearly identical, at times even overlapping.

"What you're looking at right now in Moore, Oklahoma, is what you could have seen if you had been there in 1999," said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.

The 1999 tornado rated an EF5 - the maximum on the scale, causing the fastest wind speed ever recorded on earth.

Monday's storm was given a prelimary rating of an EF4, but the National Weather Service said Tuesday that crews found at least one area of EF5 damage.

Either way, it was no less horrific for a community that thought it had already seen the worst of what mother nature has to offer.

"It's just hard to believe that something like this could happen again to Moore itself," said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

"They were equally devastating. I think what we see so far, today's going to be very similar, if not exceed what we saw in 1999," said Albert Ashwood, of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

"I've been through three tornadoes, May 3rd also, and it was very, very similar. Cars were turned over. Some houses were half gone, some houses were all gone," Heather Moore told CNN.

Perhaps lessons learned from that epic 1999 storm saved lives when Monday's tornado tore through town.

The people of Moore will no doubt show the same resolve and resilience to rebuild, just as they did nearly 15 years ago.

Insurance claims for Monday's  tornado will likely top $1 billion, according to an official with the Oklahoma insurance commission. That cost would be higher than the 1999 tornado.

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