The Norman Transcript

Local news

May 25, 2013

Moore open for business

NORMAN — Until an EF-5 tornado carved a path through the economic core of Moore on Monday, sales tax generated more than $2 million each month. In addition to damages, closed roads and utility outages forced many businesses to shut their doors.

Now, major retailers along the path of the storm are open for business.

“I want to encourage our citizens to shop at our local shops,” Moore Economic Development Director Diedre Ebrey said Friday.

Dicks Sporting Goods, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, CVS and Walgreens are open.

Moore’s nearly $90 million annual operating budget for the city, public works and economic development funds depends on sales tax for 19 percent of its revenue.

Growth had been strong — Moore experienced over 5 percent increases in sales tax collections over the past couple of years as new businesses came to town.

Many of the newest businesses, including the IMAX portion of the Warren Theatre, Hollie’s Flatiron Steakhouse, Dicks and Target were affected by the tornado.

Anyone who wants to donate directly to the city may do so online at cityofmoore.com, Ebrey said. Donate buttons are available to support the general disaster, animal welfare or safety personnel funds.

Volunteer and other donation opportunities and relief information is available at moore.recovers.org.

“I want you to know how appreciative we are, how overwhelmed we are, how full of hope and despair all at once,” Ebrey said.

Ebrey and ONG spokesperson Cherokee Ballard both said employees with homes destroyed showed up for work because they were needed in the recovery effort.

At Friday’s noon press conference at Moore City Hall, Ballard said 240 homes have restored ONG service with 100 more anticipated by end of day.

She said 30 ONG employees are working the affected area with contractors.

“We will work with affected customers on their bills,” Ballard said.

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