For over a decade, Lieutenant Brian Orr of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has responded to disasters throughout the state, including both the 1999 and 2013 Moore tornadoes. He remembers each of them clearly.
“It was very difficult to see things, and of course first arriving, hearing screams from people and just the total devastation,” Orr said.
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:
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.
Leaders in Moore say tornado recovery efforts have caused sales tax collections to skyrocket in the city.
The Norman Transcriptreports 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.
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.