MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

June 20, 2013

More than 56K tons of debris cleared

MOORE (AP) — More than 56,000 tons of debris have been removed from the 19 neighborhoods in Moore that were affected by the deadly tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb last month, city officials said Wednesday.

The cost of the work to clear the initial 56,550 tons is eligible for 85 percent reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, City Manager Steve Eddy said. Debris removal done in the next 30 days will be covered at 80 percent, and after that, the federal share of the cleanup will drop to the traditional 75 percent.

FEMA implemented the new sliding scale to expedite debris removal and cleanup after Superstorm Sandy battered the East Coast.

“It’s certainly helpful,” Eddy said. “We wanted to get started as soon as possible, with not only the increased level of reimbursement, but also so we can begin rebuilding.”

The top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado ripped across a 17-mile path on May 20, killing 24 people — including 10 children — and injuring more than 300 others. Seven of the children who died were in the Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit from the tornado.

That school and Briarwood Elementary both have been demolished, and school officials are working on a plan to rebuild. Twenty-one schools in the district, including its administration building, were damaged in the tornado and a separate storm on May 31 that passed through the area.

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