Business will soon be booming in Moore, Oklahoma, said City Manager Stephen Eddy. While 36 businesses were destroyed and others affected by power outages and restricted access following the devastation of the May 20 F-5 tornado, the city is bouncing back.
"Everybody that's got power, most all of them are open again," Eddy said.
Restaurant business has been down, in part because of the free food that has been passed out, Eddy said, but as recovery gears up people will be shopping at Lowes, Home Depot, Wal Mart and Target as they restock lost supplies and buy items needed for the clean up process.
"The sales tax will spike," Eddy said. "I expect sales tax to go up for a couple or three months. It did after '99."
Moore Police have succeeded in keeping looting to a minimum. Most people have had time to get valuables out.
Police Chief Jerry Stillings said the most common form of looting now is by scrappers. They sift through debris looking for metals and other things they can sell.
"That just creates problems," Eddy said. "We're asking people not to do that. They will get run out if they come in."
Scrappers clog the streets with vehicles and scatter debris back into the roadway. Stillings said they don't care about removal and clean up, they sling stuff everywhere trying to find items of value to sell.
Silver Star Construction has hauled away 16,000 tons of debris from Moore tornado damage already.
"Overall the debris removal is going very well," Eddy said. He asked residents to keep "shoving debris to the curb."
Wrecked vehicles should be towed. Eddy said people need to call tow trucks to haul away their wrecked vehicles, especially if they are in the right of way or blocking the street. If they do not have the vehicles towed, the city will have it done and owners will have to pay the cost of the storage.
Copyright 2013 - The Norman Transcript, Okla.