Missouri Task Force One Returns from Florida Panhandle

4 weeks 20 hours 14 minutes ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
By: Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Nineteen members of Missouri Task Force One returned to Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters Saturday morning after spending ten days helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle.

“It’s great to be back,” Task Force mission leader Chuck Leake said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the men and women that were with us on this mission.”

While deployed, the task force traveled to many different areas in the Florida Panhandle, including some of the hardest hit areas like Panama City and Mexico Beach.

“It is amazing to watch what Michael did to that state and the swath it took, starting at the beach and working its way up through the state,” Leake said. “A lot of areas that we saw, the entire infrastructure was down when we rolled in that first morning.”

Missouri Task Force One Logistics Manager Adam Stoffer said for many on the task force, it was surreal to see the destruction Hurricane Micheal left behind.

“It’s hard to believe when you drive down a street and see every power line and telephone pole on the ground,” Stoffer said. “You see the power of wind and what storms can do.”

For Stoffer, the past month has been hectic. He was also among the task force members who deployed to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. He has only been home for ten days since Sept. 11.

“I have great support from my family to deploy back to back like this,” Stoffer said. “I love Missouri Task Force One and the people that I get to work with. It makes it easier to go back to back.”

For the ten days the members were deployed, their primary job was to go house to house and conduct welfare checks in areas other first responders hadn’t gotten to yet. In total, the team checked around 4,000 houses.

“Missouri Task Force One was proud to be one of the first folks to get to them and knock on their door and ask them if everyone is okay,” Leake said.

Stoffer said it is rewarding to help the folks who need it the most.

 “But it is hard knowing that they lost everything and all their belongings that they worked hard for," Stoffer said.

For some on the task force, the damage in places like Mexico Beach brought back flashbacks of one of their past deployments within the Show-Me State.

“There were some areas that reminded all of us of Joplin and how those communities and those areas were just gone,” Leake said. “When I see trees that are corkscrewed, and you look at the trunk of it and how they are twisted, you realize that was tornadic activity.”

Leake said Hurricane Michael should serve as a lesson for why people should prepare for what is coming.

“We are going to see more tornadoes in Missouri. Florida is going to get hit by the next Hurricane Andrew or Michael or keep on down the line,” Leake said. “When it does happen, Missouri Task Force One stands ready every time to do whatever it takes for citizens we are responding to help.”

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - One person was hospitalized Saturday evening after a shooting just east of Columbia, the Boone County Sheriff's... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:01:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Community members gathered Saturday to raise money for the Police Unity Tour. Every year, police officers... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is home from the hospital Saturday after spending three weeks in the ICU, recovering from... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 6:58:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
PHELPS COUNTY - One man was airlifted to the hospital Saturday morning after he suffered "a large caliber gunshot wound... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Fall Into Art kicked off the weekend with its annual show, and artists shared what their art means... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 3:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the largest holiday shopping events in mid-Missouri takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Columbia Exposition... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - From the amateurs to the professional travel teams, dodgeball players of all skill sets took part in the... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:05:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A chase that reached speeds of 115 mph and a subsequent foot pursuit led to the arrest... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 12:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
Royal Palm Beach, FL ( WPTV ) -- Firefighters rescued several pets from a house fire in Royal Palm Beach... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:45:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Another fatal crash occurred in Missouri early Saturday morning. 30 year-old Richard Lowry, of Eugene, was pronounced... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:57:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - A Sedalia woman was pronounced dead following a crash near Sedalia on Nov. 16. 51-year-old Janna McQueen... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:24:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jury has found a Wisconsin man guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Missouri mother who... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Families filled empty shoeboxes with hygiene products, school supplies, clothes, shoes and toys for children in need at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 8:04:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The price of a typical Thanksgiving meal in Missouri is a full $5.25 higher than the national average.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 7:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The nature of Twitter and how government officials use it was at the heart of a hearing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced cuts to costs Friday to help with enrollment at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 3:24:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- USA Gymnastics' longtime chief operating officer has resigned, the organization said Friday, becoming the latest in a string... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:56:27 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A tree in downtown Columbia became the target of vandalism Thursday night when two men were caught on camera... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:49:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
11am 32°
12pm 33°
1pm 35°
2pm 36°