Six months later: Rebuilding hundreds of homes in Moore after the deadly EF5 tornado in May

MOORE, Okla. - Rebuilding hundreds of homes here means plenty of business for contractors and building crews.

But when it's your hometown, your friends' and your neighbors' homes that are destroyed - it's personal.

Brick by brick. House by house. Family by family. The rebirth of Moore has been slow.

"It just takes some hard word and dedication," said Leslie Brown.

She's been here since day one - the day that killer tornado demolished much of her hometown.

TIMELINE: A look back: 40 minutes of hell in Moore (http://bit.ly/mooretimeline)

She works with a contractor, one of many helping hundreds of victims get back into their homes. It's a monumental task that Leslie says can seem impossible.

But that's when Leslie thinks about folks like Mrs. Gilley. She was bound and determined to stay in her house with her dog after the tornado, even without electricity, with limited plumbing, and a dangerous roof.

"She was definitely a priority. Making sure her house got done and that she was comfortable, we did some extra things to make her happy. and make her house better for her," said Leslie.

Mrs. Gilley's is only one of the hundreds of stories to tell in Moore. It is those stories that keep Jonathan O'Neal working hard, even as he fights off that empty feeling, when he sees homes of family and friends so badly damaged.

"We've seen this town wiped out three different times. It's never an easy thing to see, you can see the devastation first hand, just by looking out the windows here, a lot of houses aren't even rebuilt yet, so it's scary," said Jonathan.

During the last six months, some crews have worked sunup to sundown. They've accomplished a lot. But even with those 15 hour days, they know there's still so much more to do.

"It's humbling for sure. It's nice to be able to say we were part of the rebuilding process, to help people get back in their homes. So it's a good feeling for sure, you feel like you're paying it forward."

Forward is good, the folks in Moore say. It's just too painful to look back.

 

PHOTOS: The aftermath in Moore (http://bit.ly/may20photos)

For more including before and after interactive features, videos and satellite imagery go to www.kjrh.com/tornado .

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