For about another week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the city for 85 percent of the cost of debris removal. After 30 days, that amount is reduced to 80 percent, and after 60 days it will be reduced to the traditional 75 percent match.
The new sliding scale was implemented after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Eastern Seaboard to expedite debris removal and rebuilding, said Sandy Coachman, a coordinating officer for FEMA.
“It looks like it’s working pretty well,” Coachman said. “Debris is really about housing.”
Plaza Towers and another school, Briarwood Elementary, both have been demolished after taking direct hits from the tornado, and school officials in Moore are working on a plan to rebuild. Twenty-one schools in the district, including its administration building, were damaged in the tornado and a separate storm on May 31 that passed through the area, said district spokeswoman Pam Westbrook.
A chain-link fence surrounding the Plaza Towers site has been converted into a makeshift memorial, covered with T-shirts, stuffed animals and notes of encouragements from around the country.
On the grounds of the school, seven wooden crosses, each with a small lantern on top, have been erected in honor of the children who died there.