Kevin Wren tornado update

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JEFFERSON CITY - For some, the road to recovery after the Jefferson City tornado has been long and grueling.

KOMU 8 has followed Kevin Wren since the EF-3 tornado badly damaged his home in Jefferson City the night of May 22nd. He said although he considers himself lucky, the past few weeks have been challenging.

"It's been rough. But I'm in a good place. I've got somewhere to live, my insurance is going to rebuild the place. I'm the lucky one. There are so many that don't have that kind of luck," Wren said. 

When KOMU 8 spoke to Wren the day after the tornado, he described the night before. He said he took shelter in his basement. No one in his neighborhood was injured, but his home and many others on his street suffered major damage.

"It was sheer bewilderment that eight seconds of violent wind could do this much damage. I've never been so terrified in my entire life," Wren said. 

After that terror comes a long and slow clean up process.

"I've had it easy. The hardest part has just been working with insurance, construction, getting that all together. It's just been exhausting," Wren said. "Once I got them together it was fine, my insurance agent relaxed. He was stressed. They're all overworked as well."

State Farm Insurance representative Kevin Gamble said those agents have been working around the clock.

"There's a lot of collaborating, a lot of networking involved. When these issues first happen, it's very chaotic," Gamble said. "As soon as the storms hit, our agents were on the scene assessing the damage."

Wren has been out of his home since that day. He stayed in a hotel before renting an apartment. He said he expects months to pass before he's able to move back in.

"That changes depending on what they find. So who knows. This could be six months," Wren said. 

Despite the difficulties of the last few weeks, Wren says there have been bright spots as well.

"Really it's the confirmation that the community I live in are fantastic. They have been just brilliant. Groups of volunteers, kids riding around on tricycles with mom and dad with a little trailer with sandwiches and drinks just to give to people," Wren said. "Stories of heroism. Where they didn't need to do what they did but they did it anyway."

Wren said it has been heartwarming and emotional to watch the community to come together.