The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

May 22, 2013

Okla. officials vow not to quit looking until everyone is found

(Continued)

MOORE, Okla. —

"I was the actual mayor in May 1999, so this is not my first rodeo on this," said Mayor Glenn Lewis.

Lewis said his home was not hit by Monday’s tornado. He said the city staff has worked around the clock to restore order.

"They’re holding up pretty good," he said. "None of us has had any sleep."

Lewis said water is back on. The Oklahoma City Water Treatment Plant at Lake Draper was damaged, affecting Moore and some Oklahoma City water customers. Moore also has 17 emergency wells, four of which are maintained and can be used without treating the water.

"Everything is up and running," Lewis said. "We’ve had a well-organized team."

Fallin said the loss of children was especially heartbreaking.

"We frankly don’t even know yet if there are still missing people," she said.

The first goal is to continue rescue and recovery. Fallin and each of the officials who spoke at Tuesday’s press conference vowed not to quit until “every piece of debris” had been turned over in the search for survivors.

Moore Police Chief Jerry Stillings asked people to stay out of the impacted areas, especially Telephone Road, Santa Fe and 19th Street.

"We have to have people out of those affected areas so that we can do that work and shrink that perimeter," Stillings said. "There isn’t anything that you can do at this time and there are a lot of safety issues."

People who were impacted by the tornado are asked to call 1-800-621-FEMA as soon as possible and register for assistance.

But federal officials had no answers for the 500 people who questioned the lack of help this past year. Residents learned in January money from a federal program for saferoom assistance would not be available. Residents who applied had been selected by a lottery process, but the federal funds were not granted because Cleveland County hadn’t had a significant tornado in the prior year.

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