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Viewing May 3, 1999, through many eyes

BY JAMES S. TYREE Modified: May 2, 2009 at 11:02 am •  Published: May 2, 2009


What we’ve learned
Steve Couch, former assistant principal at Moore Central Junior High School, Mulhall Mayor Jack McAnally, and former Haysville, Kan., Mayor Tim Norton also spoke.

Couch, who now works at Moore Norman Technology Center, said the tornado and its aftermath taught Moore educators several lessons, including not to store everything in one place, planning what to do after a disaster and not just during one, and staying mindful of a disaster’s psychological impact on students.

He also said it’s important to pass those lessons on to future students. Couch said his son takes tornadoes seriously because he remembers the May 3 outbreak, but his younger sister doesn’t grasp the importance.

McAnally, a Mulhall resident who became mayor years after the storms, said the outbreak could be "the greatest thing that ever happened to Mulhall” because it wiped out so many decrepit buildings.

"It provided money for the cleanup,” he said. "We have a lot of new houses — and we have a lot of vacant lots, too.”