May 2013 Tornado Coverage

10:42 am
Tue October 22, 2013

When The Luck Ran Out In El Reno

Lead in text: 
Motivated by adventure, science, and awe at the power of nature, stormchasers are risking it all to get closer to tornadoes than ever before. Last spring, during the deadly Oklahoma City outbreaks, they got more than they bargained for.
THE TOWNS IN Canadian County, Oklahoma, stand like so many thousands of others out on the prairie-anonymous grids of streets and continuous brick facades stamped into the plains by the same great waffle iron. Not much has happened in this rural area 30 miles west of Oklahoma City since the county was settled in one afternoon during the April 22, 1889, Land Run.
StateImpact Oklahoma
12:03 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Why The Growth Of Wind Energy Worries Weather Forecasters In Oklahoma

Radar systems engineer Redmond Kelley and Caleb Fulton, an assistant professor of engineering, test an experimental phased-array weather radar in Norman.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is now No. 6 in the nation in wind-generated electricity capacity, and last week the state helped set a wind power record for the entire region.

Wind farms are multiplying and expanding in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and throughout the Great Plains, where the nation’s wind energy potential is concentrated.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:21 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Why Gov. Mary Fallin Won’t Back School Storm Shelter Ballot Measure

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the site of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore days after the May 20 tornado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

Supporters of an initiative petition to fund tornado shelters in Oklahoma schools are gathering the thousands of signatures needed to send the proposal to a statewide vote, but Gov. Mary Fallin won’t be on the list.

The Tulsa World‘s Barbara Hoberock reports the plan, which would use revenue from the state franchise tax to pay the $500 million debt, does not have the governor’s support:

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School Shelters
8:58 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Study: In-School Storm Shelters Deficient In Oklahoma

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

A proponent of a ballot measure to place storm shelters in Oklahoma schools says a survey of all public schools in the state shows more than 60 percent without a refuge or safe area.

Rush Springs Democratic state Representative Joe Dorman announced the results of the survey on Thursday of all 517 school districts in Oklahoma's 77 counties. The survey was paid for by Coreslab Structures, a company that manufactures precast concrete products with two plants in Oklahoma.

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Tornado Recovery
9:21 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Moore Building Permits Increase

Survivors of May's tornado look at a car damaged in the storm.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Officials in Moore say the city has issued a record number of building permits since the May 20 tornado that devastated the community.

City officials say Moore issued 78 building permits in the last month — compared to 24 permits issued at the same time last year. Of those, 54 permits are for rebuilding and 24 are new construction.

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Around The State
2:26 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Moore, Choctaw Each Receive $300K In U.S. Commerce Grants

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two organizations in Central Oklahoma will receive more than half-a-million dollars from the U.S. Department of Commerce as part of its Economic Development Administration grant program.

The City of Moore will receive $300,000 to hire a disaster coordinator develop strategies during the rebuilding efforts after May’s devastating tornado. The job will also be responsible for managing disaster assistance at the federal, state and local level.

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State Capitol
1:17 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

UPDATE: Group Launches Oklahoma School Shelter Ballot Drive

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Organizers have launched a signature-gathering campaign for a $500 million bond issue to put storm shelters in public schools.

The group Take Shelter Oklahoma filed a petition on Wednesday with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office to get the issue on a statewide ballot. Once the ballot language is given final approval by the attorney general, supporters have 90 days to gather about 155,000 signatures of registered voters.

The plan calls for the debt service on the bond issue to be paid by the annual franchise tax levied on businesses.

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May 2013 Tornado Outbreak
12:31 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Moore Tax Receipts Up As City Continues Recovery

Loading supplies for disaster relief - May 23, 2013
Credit Kerry Rodtnick / University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Leaders in Moore say tornado recovery efforts have caused sales tax collections to skyrocket in the city.

The Norman Transcript reports that Moore received more than $2.6 million in total sales tax from the Oklahoma Tax Commission in September. That includes general fund receipts, which are up more than 12 percent from last year.

City Manager Stephen Eddy calls the numbers "amazing" and says rebuilding efforts from the May 20 tornado are likely responsible.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:17 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

List Of Schools Unwilling To Wait For Government Action on Tornado Shelters Grows

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s only been little more than three months since an EF5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., and devastated two schools. And already, the state’s public schools are responding.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:35 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Moore Building Code Changes Likely To Focus On Homes, Not Businesses

An open sign is one of the few items left after a tornado struck this convenient store in Moore, OK.
Credit State Farm / Flickr Creative Commons

When the massive EF5 tornado ripped through Moore on May 20, it took out homes and business alike. Since then, the Moore City Council has been considering updating building codes to make homes safer. But as the Journal Record‘s Molly M. Flemming reports, the city’s construction standards for commercial buildings aren’t being altered much:

Those codes are likely to stay the same, with one slight change.

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