By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Norman Planning and Community Development department recently reported that 36 permits were issued for storm shelters between July 10 and July 17.
“We’ve certainly seen a great increase in storm shelter permits since May 20,” said Susan Connors, planning and community development director.
Since the May 19-20 tornadoes, the addition of storm shelters has been a trend in Norman. During the week of May 15-22, only 23 single-family addition or alteration permits were issued. It is unknown how many were tornado shelters, but those numbers took a huge jump after the tornado, prompting city staff to track shelter numbers.
In the six weeks preceding the tornadoes, single-family addition permits averaged about 27 per week, ranging from 21 to a high 38 in one week.
· May 29-June 5: 51 single-family addition/alteration permits were issued — the city does not say how many are storm shelters, but this is nearly double the average number of addition permits from earlier weeks
· June 5-12: 69 of the 80 single-family addition or alteration permits were storm shelters
· June 12-19: 47 of the 64 single-family addition permits were storm shelters
· June 19-26: 56 of the 61 addition or alteration permits issued were storm shelters
· June 26- July 3: 34 of the 47 single-family addition or alteration permits issued were storm shelters.
· July 3-10: 37 of the 48 single-family addition/alteration permits were storm shelters.
“There are certain requirements in our code that they have to meet,” Connors said. “Most of the major storm shelter installers know they have to meet the code and are aware of that. We wouldn’t issue a permit if they weren’t meeting our standards.”