NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Applications from Norman residents looking to build storm shelters have increased sharply in the aftermath of deadly tornadoes that struck in Moore and other nearby areas of the Oklahoma City metro.
The May 19 and 20 tornadoes killed dozens in Moore and other areas just north of Norman, which are both on the south edge of the Oklahoma City metro area.
"We've certainly seen a great increase in storm shelter permits since May 20," Norman planning and community development director Susan Connors told The Norman Transcript (http://bit.ly/13vdt5a ).
The city approved an average of 27 home addition permits per week in the six weeks before the tornadoes, although the number of permits for storm shelters was not counted.
The city reported that from June 5 to July 10, there were 243 permits approved for storm shelters alone — an average of about 48 permits per week — out of a total of 300 permits for single-family addition or alteration approved during the same five-week period.
"There are certain requirements in our code that they have to meet," Connors said. "Most of the major storm shelter installers know they have to meet the code and are aware of that. We wouldn't issue a permit if they weren't meeting our standards."
The violent storms are blamed for at least 48 deaths in the central Oklahoma City metro area that includes Oklahoma City and Moore, just north of the Norman city limits.