The City of Moore has already received about 1,400 building permits as homeowners and businesses continue to rebuild after the May 20 tornado, Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said Monday at the National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City.
While there are some empty lots where homeowners have chosen to sell and move on, the majority of homes in the city are being rebuilt, Lewis said.
“We think about 85 percent of them are going to come back,” Lewis said Monday during a panel discussion at the summit.
Some Moore residents — particularly those who lived in older, smaller homes, were underinsured and their insurance settlements have not been sufficient to cover the cost of rebuilding, Lewis said.
“A lot of people, when they went to rebuild, I don’t think they had a clue how much it was going to cost,” he said.
Lewis spoke during a panel discussion on disaster planning for cities, along with Joplin, Mo., Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean, and Hattiesburg, Miss., Mayor Johnny DuPree. All three cities were hit with large tornadoes in recent years.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who moderated the panel discussion, spoke of the importance of planning and communication between city departments in advance of a disaster.
“Public works people have to be out to clear the streets first to help get the first responders out there,” Cornett said.
On Monday at the summit, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, unveiled plans to sponsor national legislation that would reauthorize the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act of 2004.
House Bill 1786 would improve building codes and construction standards for homes. The proposed bill also would support research to better understand windstorms, atmospheric science research and data collection, and the development of better risk assessment tools.
The National Tornado Summit continues Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center.