Red Tape Delayed Oklahoma Town's Tornado Shelter Program

Image: Red Tape Delayed Oklahoma Town's Tornado Shelter Program

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 02:55 PM

By Dan Weil

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The tornado-devastated town of Moore, Okla., had complained in February about regulatory delays from state and federal agencies that were preventing it from getting money for its countywide tornado shelter rebate program.

"The city's safe room rebate program is still 'on hold,' with not a lot changed from our update of last May [2012]," a statement posted on the City of Moore website said.

"Our countywide Hazard Mitigation Plan still has not been approved by the state and FEMA," the statement continued, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and marking more than a year since the plan was first submitted seeking approval for $2 million to help 800 homeowners put in underground shelters.

The city blamed the delay on shifting regulations and the apparent difficulty interpreting the requirements for approval.

"There were changes to the federal requirements for this plan that occurred while our contractor was writing the document. He has had to rewrite it," the statement read.

"We've found that the FEMA requirements and their interpretations seem to be a constantly moving target, more so with the new wrinkles. We're still working out various wording changes with the state reviewers and hope to submit the final document in March."


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