Oklahoma City, OK (PRWEB) May 16, 2014
May 20 marks the one year anniversary of the EF5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, and completely destroyed 1,087 residential homes. As of May 1,549 residential homes have filed for building permits and 434 remodel permits were issued through the City of Moore. Debris removal spanned from May 29 to September 6, and as the one-year mark approaches, community members reflect on the storm that changed Moore.
Prudential Alliance Realty Oklahoma REALTOR® Russell Benson was in the midst of the aftermath of the tornado, working closely with his local church that became the first Red Cross center. Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day for about three months, Benson and other community members worked to provide supplies and shelter to those who needed it most.
“Having been through the May ‘99 tornado, and watched how things unfolded there and then being in the heart of it in the May 2013 tornado,” Benson says, reflecting on the experience. “In Oklahoma, we’ve been through so many bizarre events that when something like this happens, we roll up our sleeves and show up at people’s doorsteps and just say ‘how can we help?’”
After the tornado hit, there was 172,817 tons of debris to be removed, including 45,685 tons of concrete. On average, about 60 trucks ran everyday for 12 to 14 hours to haul away the debris, which took 11,375 truck loads.
For all the bad seen in Moore, locals and people from all across the region of the country banded together to lend a helping hand.
“Just seeing the groups of people come in at the church, a lot of the groups, firefighters came from all over, people came in with therapy dogs, it’s really so awesome to see the groups of complete strangers show up in our town and just get to work. Just help,” says Russell.
Clean up is considered to be 98 percent done, and rebuilding has started. Some homes are completely finished while others are still in the beginning stages of construction. While some home owners in Moore did decide to pack up their bags after the region’s second damaging storm, others aren’t letting Mother Nature get in the way. The City of Moore recently reported that 372 building permits had been issued in non-damaged areas, showing the strength and resilience of the community.
“The damage was devastating and I couldn’t be more proud of Russell Benson, Moore residents, Oklahoma natives and everyone else who halted their lives to help those in need,” says Sheldon Detrick, chief executive officer of Prudential Detrick Realty.
The City of Moore began the ShelterMoore storm shelter rebate program funded by the American Red Cross that will allow for the installation of at least 1,500 storm shelters in the city. The program places priority on home owners whose residences were destroyed or significantly damaged in last year’s storms.