Moore Mayor Talks City's Recovery One Month After Deadly Storm

Thursday, June 20th 2013, 5:16 pm
By: News 9

Moore is no stranger to disaster, and neither is the city's mayor Glenn Lewis. He's been there during the May 3 and May 8 tornadoes and says cleanup efforts are on track along with some new projects underway.

Lewis was here on the ground just 10 minutes after the May 20 tornado hit, but he says he's been so busy that he didn't realize it had been a whole month until someone told him this morning.

"It's been a whole month, and I'm going, 'No, it can't be.' I feel like I lost a whole three weeks in there somewhere," Lewis said. "In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday, and in some ways, it seems like it's been two years."

Lewis was hard at work at his other job at Lewis Jewelers in Moore, but earlier, he stopped by Plaza Towers Elementary School on the one-month anniversary since a deadly tornado tore it down.

"It felt kind of surreal. You look down and the slabs are cracked and everything and all the debris around it is still there," he said. "But the school itself is cleaned off that's when you realize wow this really did happen and it's still happening."

Lewis says blueprints are still in the works for the rebuilding of Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary, both will have safe rooms.

"We're looking into building safe rooms in everything that's multi-family, including nursing homes, apartment buildings, duplexes, anything like that where an individual doesn't have a choice to build their own," Lewis said.

In addition to those two schools, two more are also under construction along with several businesses. Lewis saw a big drop in sales at his shop like many businesses in Moore did.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"There's not as many people out shopping because one, you feel guilty if you go out and you're eating in a nice restaurant, when other people are eating meals served to them by a church," he said.

Lewis says the last four weeks have been difficult, but the progress is promising.

"It's starting to get cleaned up, but it's going to take a while," he said. "We're about 40 percent into it, and we hope that by this time next month, the second month anniversary, we'll have almost all of it picked up."

Lewis says the one thing the city needs more of is time to heal. Moore Public Schools is still working out where the teachers and students displaced here and Briarwood will go this upcoming school year.

Lewis says some Big Retailers are planning to open up in Moore, and he plans to announce which stores soon.