MOORE — The economic boom in Moore wasn't spurred by the damage left by the May 3, 1999, tornado, a city official said. The city's progress has come despite the destruction.
“Not only did people not hold back, but they were actually very bullish about the area,” said Deidre Ebrey, economic development director for the city of Moore. Sales tax collections and commercial development have doubled since May 1999, she said. About $800 million in damage was done in the metro area on May 3, 1999, insurers estimated. A few businesses were lost in Moore, but most of the damage was to neighborhoods, Ebrey said. City workers spent the weeks and months after the storm cleaning up the city and helping residents recover, she said. Residents repaid the city by staying and rebuilding. Before the tornado, the long-term economic development plan for Moore was mundane — not too terrible, but not too spectacular, Ebrey said. The outlook changed after the storm. “I think,” she said, “what it did mostly was it changed the attitude — a sense of urgency.”