The Norman Transcript

News Features

June 6, 2013

Moore mayor: Residents rebuilding

MOORE — Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis, the city’s cheerleader in chief, said he believes about 90 percent of Moore tornado victims will rebuild there.

On May 19 and May 20, when an EF-5 tornado tracked through Newcastle, south Oklahoma City and Moore, 3,937 structures were impacted and 1,248 were destroyed, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Lewis, in office since 1994, said 830 homes were destroyed and 386 were severely damaged by the May 20 tornado.

Lewis said many personnel who work at Tinker Air Force Base live in Moore, which provides them with a great location. Lewis said most people are ready to rebuild and a few properties that are structurally sound are already going up.

“I think a lot of people are planning to rebuild here,” he said.

In Moore, debris removal is going well and officials will meet this morning to assess where they are in the process, Lewis said. In 1999, after the May 3 tornado, the process took 61 days to complete, he said.

A snag could be the soundness of cement slabs, Lewis said. Officials are recommending that they be removed, and if residents take them to the curb, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the city for pick-up costs, he said. Working with FEMA has improved a great deal in comparison to 1999, the mayor said.

On May 3, 1999, 74 tornadoes touched down across Oklahoma in less than 21 hours, according to the National Weather Service. A maximum EF-5 on the Fujita Tornado Scale tracked for nearly an hour and a half along a 38-mile path from Chickasha through south Oklahoma City and the suburbs of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Moore, Midwest City and Del City.

As the skies cleared, officials counted more than 8,000 homes damaged or destroyed and total property damage of nearly $1.5 billion.

Keller Williams Realtor Glen Cosper, who has been serving clients in the metro area for 18 years, was in business on May 3, 1999. Cosper said that back then, it took six to eight months before building began in earnest. Things like collecting all of the debris takes time, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • March Against Monsanto Protesters rally against agro giant Monsanto

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Rain did not deter protesters at the March Against Monsanto in Bricktown on Saturday evening. A button on one man’s shirt was typical of the attitude of many of the marchers, “I’m one of those people,” it read....

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore Med Cent Groundbreaking Community still grieving but looking toward future, new beginnings

    MOORE — One year after an EF-5 tornado devastated a core area of Moore that included the Moore Medical Center, the community gathered on the site of the former hospital to reflect and remember those who were lost....

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple mourns loss of young lives

    When the tornado hit, Dennis and Wilma Chastain were holding hands. On May 20, 2013, the couple left their home in south Oklahoma City in Green Briar Estates near Westmoore High School around 2 p.m. to make it to a 2:30 appointment near ...

    May 20, 2014

  • Interfaith group invites women to join

    Women of a variety of faiths brought prayers and dinner and shared peaceful dialogue recently at a Norman home. Malaka Elyazgi’s prayer sounded like a song tripping off her lips in her native tongue. The translation was equally poetic....

    April 28, 2014

  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013