MOORE, Okla. – An empty plot of land just north of the Warren Theater in Moore was where a medical facility once stood.
On May 20, 2013, the spot of land near S.W. 4th St. and Telephone Rd. was full of patients and medical staff as a deadly twister headed straight for it.
“I was the last person to get a wristband put on my wrist when I hit the hospital and I had no idea the tornado was coming,” said Johnnie King.
King was admitted to the Moore Medical Center for a dislocated shoulder.
Instead of being treated for the dislocation, he ended up saving his daughter’s life.
He said, “And it began to pick her up and suck her out, so my wife grabbed her leg and I grabbed her arm and dislocated her hip.”
Amazingly, she didn’t suffer a serious injury.
However, the facility was so heavily damaged it had to be torn down.
Now a year later, organizers say they will rebuild again on the same location as a symbol of Moore’s strength to overcome obstacles.
“It will be iconic. It will be unlike anything Moore has seen to this point and we’re happy to be a part of that process, “said Richie Splitt, vice president of Moore Medical Center.
During a ceremony on Tuesday, multiple shovels dug into the ground where the future center will be built.
“Yes, we will recover. Yes, we will because we are even stronger,” said Gov. Mary Fallin.
Military personnel rang a bell 25 times to remember the lives lost on that dark day, but also as a reminder of the bright spirits looking down on Moore.
“Very emotional, we had nearly 400 people seeking shelter in our facility and God’s hand was upon us on that day,” Splitt said.
Moore Medical Center officials said they hope the new facility will be the tallest and most recognizable building in Moore.
The new $29 million facility will open in the fall of 2016.