May 20, 2013 Tornado Outbreak: Dominant Attitude and Recovery

On May 20, 2013, a tornado touched down southwest of Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado was on the ground for 17 miles, and by the time it dissipated 4.8 miles east of Moore the tornado had destroyed a wide swathe of the Oklahoma City suburb.
Aftermath of the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma ©2013 Lyann Valadez

Aftermath of the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma
©2013 Lyann Valadez

The Moore tornado measured nearly a mile and a half wide at some points, and the National Weather Center office in Norman, Oklahoma, rated the Newcastle-Moore tornado as EF5. According to LiveScience, “EF5 tornadoes are strong enough to blow away big houses and collapse tall buildings; their winds are estimated at more than 200 mph (322 km/h).” This year’s May 20th tornado followed nearly the same path of a May 1999 twister that also swept through Moore. Since 1998, four tornadoes have hit Moore. A preliminary estimate of the 2013 Moore tornado damage puts the cost at more than $2 billion. Shannan Rhodes, a Norman, Oklahoma, bricklayer who works in partnership with his father, worked during the 1999 tornado recovery and is working in the aftermath of the May 20 tornado as well. Rhodes and his father worked in Moore for almost two years straight in the aftermath of the 1999 tornado, and admits “it’s a guessing game” how long the rebuilding process will take this time. Rhodes states, “the recovery this time around seems different than in ’99. In ’99, it was slow – I couldn’t believe how long it took. This time it seems to be going a lot faster.” When asked why that might be so, Rhodes said, “Now, people are more aware of scammers. It’s still happening but not as much.” It should be noted that the City of Moore publishes a list of approved contractors .
Many businesses were affected by the May 20 Moore tornado ©2013 Lyann Valadez

Many businesses were affected by the May 20 Moore tornado
©2013 Lyann Valadez

Rhodes noted that this year’s tornado took a slightly different track than the 1999 tornado, stating, “In ’99 there weren’t as many businesses affected. I’ve noticed more volunteers this time, too. It’s more organized. Both times, though, I couldn’t believe how one house could be destroyed - nothing but the foundation left and the house next door hardly touched, with only windows broken. I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff. Every house tells a different story.” The dominant attitude in Moore in the aftermath of the May 20 tornado, according to Rhodes, is “Get a grip on what needs to be done and do it. It’s sad it takes a disaster – that everybody is suffering, but it’s good that they’re all helping each other.”
Bottled of donated water await distribution by volunteers. ©2013 Lyann Valadez

Bottled of donated water await distribution by volunteers.
©2013 Lyann Valadez

The Orr Family Farm, a popular attraction, sustained severe damage in the May 20 tornado. ©2013 Lyann Valadez

The Orr Family Farm, a popular attraction, sustained severe damage in the May 20 tornado.
©2013 Lyann Valadez

Many homes were damaged beyond repair May 20, 2013. ©2013 Lyann Valadez

Many homes were damaged beyond repair May 20, 2013.
©2013 Lyann Valadez

Some homes sustained relatively little damage from the May 20 tornado. ©2013 Lyann Valadez

Some homes sustained relatively little damage from the May 20 tornado.
©2013 Lyann Valadez

 ©2013 Lyann Valadez

The dominant attitude in Moore during the recovery process©2013 Lyann Valadez

       

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