Tornado Recovery Continues
Volunteers Continue with Cleanup in Hazelwood
By Pat Lindsey
Last Thursday, on the day after an EF2 tornado ripped through Hazelwood and Florissant with winds of 110 mph, the air in the hardest hit areas smelled like Christmas, but no one was celebrating. A massive cleanup had begun on Holiday Avenue., Lynn Haven Lane, and surrounding streets, and tree trimming crews were removing the largest pines that had caused so much of the damage. While much has been removed, the work continues this week.
Since then, the Red Cross, local police departments, community organizations, and hundreds of volunteers have help speed up the recovery and have given new hope to the many families who have been displaced from their homes.
Approximately 25 homes were left uninhabitable and another 150 homes need repair. Gov. Jay Nixon visited Hazelwood within 15 hours of the destruction and set in motion a process for restoration. Mayor Matt Robinson of Hazelwood and Mayor Tom Schneider of Florissant coordinated the recovery efforts.
Disaster relief teams from both cities worked through the first night, alongside MoDOT, to clear roads blocked with massive amounts of debris. Sgt. Kevin Boschert, Director of Florissant Emergency Management, assessed the storm damage via helicopter to determine what additional resources will be needed by the residents of Florissant.
The 24-hour emergency shelter that the Red Cross immediately set up at the Hazelwood Civic Center on Dunn Rd. closed Monday night. During its service to the community, 34 people slept there and more than 850 meals and 1700 snacks were served to residents, volunteers, and first responders.
Even though the shelter is now closed, those in need can still receive assistance from the Red Cross by calling 314-516-2700. Those who only have a cell phone should call 1-800-427-4626.
When Hazelwood School District recently published a list of needed items for the recent storm victims, Neighbors Credit Union donated blankets, flashlights, batteries and a case of toilet paper. Neighbors CU also pledged up to $2,500 to the Hazelwood Community Response Team by donating $1 for every “like” it received on its Facebook page from April 12 through April 15.
The United Way, AmeriCorps, and Salvation Army are also providing immediate and long-term help and support. The United Way’s 24-hr. information line, 1-800-427-4626, provides contacts for food, clothing, medical care, housing, counseling, and other needs.
Missouri disaster relief websites are as follows:
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