Three months after tornado, Jefferson City still in cleanup process
JEFFERSON CITY - Three months ago today, Jefferson City was hit by a tornado that ran from 54 Highway and Ellis Boulevard, all the way to the Missouri State Penitentiary.
Three months into the cleanup process, damage still remains. While much of the debris has been cleared, Mayor Carrie Tergin knows that theres still more work to be done.
"The immediate cleanup was very quick, there were a lot of volunteers and people helping out," Tergin said. "Even though its been three months, we still have a significant amount of recovery ahead, theres a lot of the rebuilding process, and theres a lot that still needs to happen."
Tergin said that this is a new experience for the city, and that this is new for everyone in the city.
"Other communities who have gone through things like tornadoes, it takes years. Sometimes its hard to put that in perspective because this is new for us in Jefferson City," Tergin said. "We're ahead of the game, and we are on pace to be doing what we need to be doing in order to get there in the long run. We just have to be patient."
Brandon Jenkins works for Spalding Constructors and has been in the construction business for nearly 10 years. He's worked on many of the building in the worst area of the damage, and said seeing the community response over the past three months has been impressive.
"From what I've seen, a lot of this got tore down and rebuilt really quick," Jenkins said. "The community came together and made a difference in just a little bit of time."
Jenkins agrees with Tergin's idea of how the cleanup process has progressed.
"Actually I think they're just going right on schedule. Really, I mean I don't think anything is dragging behind. It seems like everything is going according to plan," Jenkins said.
Tergin said that while the tornado damaged their lives, it didn't break their spirit.
"I know JC Strong was kind of our, it's something we've heard a lot since the days of the tornado, and I think that's something that's really defined who we are as a community," Tergin said. "We are strong, the storm is not what defines us, its our reaction and how we've all come together."
If you would like to help with the remaining cleanup, volunteer at unitedwaycemo.org