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Moore tornado victims beside themselves when left with an ultimatum

MOORE, Okla. – Like the tornado that twisted through Moore, warning signs now wind down streets. The message is clear: Clean up or pay.

The city has posted noticed in yards of more than 400 victims. The signs warn them that they need to remove rubble and rocks by Friday. If they don’t the city will do it for them for the fee of $350.

“The City is trying to strong-arm us and charge us money to do more work,” said Danny Mathes.

Mathes has crews on his lot clearing debris, but he worries they won’t have time to finish.

“I couldn’t do anything with the lot for the last month because the weather,” said Mathes.

Weeks of snow has slowed progress for man. Still, the city is telling people they need to move fast.

“We just want to be able to mow,” said Elizabeth Jones.

Jones is the Director of Community Development. She says while mowing in February may sound ridiculous to some, she says a lot of lots need to be cleared. The city would need to get started now so people can start mowing in the spring. If the rocks and concrete block mowers, grass will become a breeding ground for mosquitos.

“It’s a big deal, and we understand it’s another added stress,” said Jones. “But we need to make sure this happens.”

Problem is, many victims sold their lots after the storm. Mathes just bought his lot three weeks ago, around the same time the city sent out its first warning letter.

“I got nothing in the mail,” said Mathes. “No registered letter.”

So the yard sign was the first he heard about the clean up requirement.

“I’m going to try all I can if I have to get out there with my shovel,” said Mathes.

If you don’t have a contractor to help you clear your lot, you can call the city at 405-250-6701. Their contractor will come clear your lot for $350. If you don’t clear you lot, the city will come anyway and charge you the same price. If you don’t pay, it will but a lien on your property. You will have to pay interest plus a $100 administration fee.