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Tornado-Ravaged Moore, Oklahoma Toughens Building Codes

Image: The body of a pickup truck is wrapped around a tree trunk after being thrown there by by a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma in this file photo
The body of a pickup truck is wrapped around a tree trunk after being thrown there by by a tornado in Moore, Okla., after a massive tornado struck the city on May 20, 2013.LUCAS JACKSON / Reuters

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It's been almost a year since a massive tornado hit Moore, Okla., killing 24 people and injuring almost 400.

Thursday, the city became the first in the country to adopt rules specifically to prevent extensive tornado damage with tough new residential building codes.

As part of the new codes, Moore is requiring new homes to be built to withstand winds of up to 135 mph.

According to NBC-affiliate KFOR, the accepted building standard nationwide is for homes to be able to withstand winds of up to 90 mph. After structural engineers examined the May 2013 damage, the Moore City Council approved 11 building code recommendations.

Moore was also the site of two other serious tornadoes, one in 2003 and another in 1999.

While the new codes would not be able to withstand the winds such extreme tornadoes as the EF-5 that struck May 20, 2013, the codes will make homes safer and more durable for smaller, more frequent storms.

— Alessandra Malito

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