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July 2, 2013

Tornado shelters on hold, Moore will meet with local builders

NORMAN — The Moore City Council tabled items that would have required storm shelters for single-family or multi-family residences, manufactured homes and group residential housing. Also tabled was an item to require bolting and fastening to strengthen dwellings against tornadoes.

Mayor Glenn Lewis said the city will meet with local builders before moving forward with ordinances related to tornado construction and storm shelters.

Some local homebuilders already add tornado-safe features to homes and have since 1999, but none of those homes were in the path of the storm, Community Development Director Elizabeth Jones said. The May 20 tornado hit the core of Moore, which is comprised mostly of older neighborhoods.

Because building codes have changed over the years, an ordinance was adopted defining the tornado area and establishing minimum building standards. The new ordinance is designed to cover this tornado and any future tornadoes regarding upgrading codes for a rebuild.

“Overall, I think we’re going to see a much better built environment,” Jones said.

A temporary moratorium has expired, effective today, and people will be free to apply for permits and rebuild homes. In some cases, permits were started and will be issued now that the moratorium has been lifted.

“I think everybody up here’s ready to see rooftops,” Mayor Glenn Lewis said.

Generous donations have poured into Moore, and the city council voted Monday to have the Oklahoma City Community Foundation administer those funds.

Moore City Finance Director Jim Corbett said people were encouraged to give to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way, but some people wanted to give directly to the city. Corbett said $422,545 has been donated to the city since May 20.

Corbett said some of those funds are earmarked for specific purposes, but about $150,000 can be used for general recovery at the discretion of the city council. Animal Welfare will receive almost $100,000.

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