MOORE, Okla., April 17 (UPI) -- The city of Moore, Okla., approved new residential building codes, becoming the first municipality in the country to institute measures to create structures that can withstand the force of a tornado.
The town was rocked May 20 by a EF-5 tornado that killed 24 people, injured 240 and displaced tens of thousands of residents.
Now the city is looking to rebuild in a way that can prevent the extent of damage from last year's twister.
The codes will ensure new homes are able to withstand winds up to 135 miles per hour, up from the previous standard of 90 miles per hour.
“This last tornado is over $2 billion in costs and with better homes, stronger buildings, that destructive force will be minimized and the cost will be minimized," said Dr. Chris Ramseyer, associate professor of civil engineering at Oklahoma University.
“It’s a very small expense for the homeowner. We’re talking one or two cents per dollar on a home," Ramseyer said. “It may be the push that some people needed to decide to rebuild back here.”