The Norman Transcript

Moore Strong - Six month later

November 20, 2013

Business coming back ‘stronger and better’

(Continued)

NORMAN —

It was a decision that saved the lives of everyone there that day. The tornado ripped through the property, leaving only a few walls of Horn’s home standing while obliterating everything at Control Flow. Most of what had stood was simply gone — office files would be recovered as far away as Tulsa — while what remained was unrecognizable. Cars were wrapped around trees, wrapped around steel beams, all coated in slick oil and insulation.

But, emerging from the shelter into a new world, there was only one thing that mattered to Mosley.

“We’re just blessed that we all got out alive,” he said. “I never want to relive that again. Like they say, you can replace all the material things, but you can’t replace human life.”

 

Digging out

Mosley, Horn and the others had their lives, but not their livelihood. Control Flow lay in pieces around them, and the cleanup process would take months.

The first step was to recover everything they could from the wreckage.

“Our business had a lot of small components we had to try and recover, so you couldn’t just take a bulldozer and clear it all out,” Mosley said. “We had to go through and handpick everything to try and salvage what we could. Those first two weeks to two months were a huge process of removing debris.”

Most of the property was a total loss. What remained of Horn’s house — a few walls, half a bedroom, whatever mementos she could rescue — had to come down, as did all that was left of Control Flow. It took 30 truckloads to finally clear away the debris and give the company a clean piece of land.

The recovery effort crippled the business. While Control Flow’s parent company in Houston guaranteed every employee a job, there wasn’t a job to do. As Mosley and the company’s dozen employees were forced to work out of a secretary’s home, most of its customers left, unable to stick with a company that didn’t have a warehouse to fulfill orders. Two employees left as well.

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