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Tornado Recovery Update and Permitting Help With Rebuilding

This article was archived on 9/15/2017

Recovery Update

As of Wed. Aug. 9, all city arterials are open to traffic. The seven traffic signals that were damaged by the tornado are also back in operation except for the traffic signal at 46th and Memorial, which is expected to be operational by tomorrow evening.

Mayor G.T Bynum’s Office and City Development Services have reached out to affected businesses to see if volunteers are needed for their recovery efforts. The Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA) and Tulsa County Social Services are assessing the needs of the residential areas that were impacted by the tornado. Most businesses and residents are insured, but the City and community partners will make sure any needs are met during the recovery process.

On Thursday, TAEMA will host Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management as they assess the damaged area for the potential of long-term, low interest loans for residents and businesses affected by the tornado.

In typical Tulsa fashion, the City’s Streets and Stormwater Department ensured roads were clear and passable the night following the storm and many community and faith-based groups helped with clean-up efforts within the impacted neighborhoods.

The City will begin a free green waste collection for residents affected by the tornado between Harvard to Sheridan from 31st St. to 41st St. and Harvard to Mingo from 41st St. to 51st St. Residents should have their green waste at the curb ready for pick-up beginning Monday.

For community and volunteer groups that would like to register to help with future volunteer efforts, contact TAEMA at (918) 596-9899 or

Special Permitting Processes

Businesses in the tornado damaged area that did not receive extensive damage are open for business and welcoming customers back to their stores. Businesses that need additional support are working with the City’s Permit Center to receive permits for repairs.

The City of Tulsa’s Permit Center is making sure businesses and residents receive the help they need to recover after the tornado. Through Sept. 15, affected property owners will be issued expedited repair permits for any demolition, repair, trade (electrical, mechanical or plumbing), or temporary structure permits.

A guide to permitting after the storm was created for businesses and residents for more information about the permitting process. The City also created a quick video clip about the condemnation process.

City of Tulsa Inspections has currently reviewed approximately 205 businesses and most all businesses are accessible except for 16 structures. The 16 structures that are currently not accessible can be repaired with a permit and structural engineer approval or permitted for demolition at the discretion of the particular business owner.

To speak with a City of Tulsa Permit Center representative, call (918) 596-9456. The Permit Center is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Workforce Tulsa

Individuals that were displaced from work due to the tornado can contact Workforce Tulsa by visiting the Tulsa American Job Center at 201 W. 5th Street in Tulsa. Individuals visiting the Job Center should bring their driver's license and an updated resume, if available. Workforce Tulsa visits with new clients Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Visit for more information.