STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR COLE COUNTY

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Commissioner enacted an official state of emergency for Cole County and Jefferson City Tuesday. 

"This is the first piece of paperwork to get the project started," said Emergency Manage Director Bill Farr.

He said the state has brought in the organization Americorps - St. Louis to assist with removing debris. 

Jason Ort, a volunteer for Americorps - St. Louis, said he and other volunteers have been hitting the ground running since last Thursday picking up debris and assisting community members with damaged property. 

"Yesterday, Memorial Day, was our biggest day," Ort said. "We got 23 homes done with over 250 volunteers and that was actually before 2 P.M."

Ort said Americorps estimates it will be in the area until the end of next weekend. 

Americorps - St. Louis says it is still looking for volunteers for debris removal or clerical work in the volunteer resource center. People can call 2-1-1 to register through the United Way or register in person at the center. 

Farr said the Emergency Management Agency has had many volunteers and there are tornado relief plans in place or being organized to begin at the end of the week. 

He said, even though Tuesday morning was the start of summer school, Thomas Jefferson Middle School has sheltered and fed at least 17 families. 

The Cole County Emergency Agency has begun organizing a multi-agency resource center located in the Linc gym in Jefferson City. 

Ort said Americorps, along with other statewide and possibly federal agencies, will assist people there.

"Around Wednesday or Thursday we will be opening up a multi-agency resource center where homeowners who need help can come in and get hooked up with different resources."

Ort said those resources range from demolition repair and temporary housing to insurance and financial aid. 

The Emergency Managment Agency is also overseeing a donation center located at the Capital West Christian Church. Farr said it is accepting anything from water, to food, to clothing. 

"This is just one of those things you see on TV all of the time waiting for these federal emergencies to kick in and get the assistance here that the people need," he said. 

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