BY STEVE LACKMEYER AND JAY F. MARKS for NewsOK.com

ENID — Enid native Jeff Hume is moving his family to Oklahoma City. About a couple hundred other Continental Resources Inc. employees are expected to follow the company’s president — news that is leaving this town of 50,000 stunned and wondering what comes next.

NewsOK.COMThose mourning the company’s departure include Enid’s City Manager Eric Benson, who was contacted Monday afternoon by Continental Resources Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm.

“This takes over 250 jobs out of a community of 50,000,” Benson said. “That’s not a small number. The big impact is the salary range for these jobs is very high. And these are community leaders and civic contributors. It’s a significant blow psychologically. These are our friends and neighbors.”

Even so, Benson added he bears no grudge over the move.

“Their justification is hard to assail,” Benson said. “They went to great lengths to explain this, and they’ve been very forthright. The reasons they cite are the ones we all face. Getting a well-qualified executive to Enid or any community this size is a challenge.”