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Community of Moore celebrates construction of new Norman Regional Moore Hospital

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MOORE, Okla. - It was a bittersweet day for many, including Dr. Dean Hinz.

Hinz was inside the Moore Medical Center when an EF-5 tornado tore through the city on May 20, 2013.

With no shelter on site, nearly 300 people took cover in the cafeteria.

Hospital surveillance cameras were rolling as the tornado hit the hospital.

"I remember as the tornado approached, the ground actually did shake. And I remember vividly, and I remember your ears popped when it came over," said Dr. Hinz.

Even though the walls came crashing down around them, everyone inside the Moore Medical Center survived the storm.

Now, the site where the medical center once stood is making way for the new Norman Regional Moore Hospital.

On Thursday, a large crane was seen lifting a cedar tree to the highest point of the new hospital, a Scandinavian tradition symbolizing a strong foundation and good luck for the future.

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"It's a sign of progress and hope. Sort of like the topping of the World Trade Center when they rebuilt it," said Dr. Dean Hinz.

Survivors have hope for the future, but they also know that preparation goes a long way when you're in the eye of the storm.

"God forbid we have bad weather again, we'll now be better prepared than we were at the Moore Medical Center, although we performed well," said David Whitaker, CEO Norman Regional Health System.

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A conference room in the hospital will serve as a shelter that could hold 300 people in case of a tornado.

"Welcome to the most resilient city in the world. This is my Devon Tower for the City of Moore," said Mayor Glenn Lewis.

Norman Regional Moore is expected to open in 2016.

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