May 20th is still a day that felt longer than 24 hours for most people in and around Moore — Eddy being one of them. Although he admits he was in a bit of a fog that day, there are still memories that haunt him.
“I don’t even know what time it was, but I got a call from the fire chief to tell me that the seven children had been killed. That was the worst phone call I’ve ever gotten as far as work-related stuff,” Eddy said.
The tornado caused an estimated about $16.5 million in damages to city property alone. For a city manager, that’s a hard number to face. But there also are more positive numbers like the approximate 50,000 volunteers that flocked to Moore to help with the recovery process.
“We had, for the first several months, church groups and groups from all over the country come during the week and every weekend. I would say 50,000 or more volunteers came to help. That was remarkable. Also the monetary donations to the big charitable organizations — Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army. Between those two things has been the biggest and the best surprise,” Eddy said.
Although it doesn’t make it easier, Eddy is thankful that the city of Moore buildings were unharmed on May 20. Adding that if those buildings got hit, it would be a lot more difficult to get help to the people in need.
“The amazing thing about it is, I’ve seen a map, I think it was generated by the Weather Service, that showed the actual track of the center of the storm. The way it came right up to the 7-Eleven, and on this map, you can see it make a U-turn and it came back east on the highway from there. The track it was on would have been right through here had it not turned. We have been very fortunate in the regard of city hall. The operations of the city has been able to continue,” Eddy said.