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Agencies update Jefferson City Council on recovery efforts

The Jefferson City Council met Friday afternoon to discuss flooding and tornado damage.

A number of officials presented updates to the council during the meeting at 4 p.m., which lasted longer than an hour.

Jefferson City Fire Chief Matthew Schofield gave the council a look at the map on the city’s website showing the damage, and severity of that damage, throughout the city. The information was gathered by crews Thursday, who worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The work involved task force members talking to residents to make sure there are no missing people. As of 4 p.m., the department has not received any reports of missing people, Schofield said. Ameren provided people to aid the task force as they went throughout the city.

Lt. David Williams with the Jefferson City Police Department gave an update on the law enforcement that assisted Thursday. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, the patrol’s cadet class, the Columbia Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton Police Department, Holts Summit Police Department, Capitol Police, Lincoln University Police Department, University of Missouri Police Department and Cole County Sheriff’s Office helped.

Federal assistance was also provided by the FBI, DEA, ATF and US Marshal’s Service.

Williams said the chief of police extended the curfew for Friday night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The area is bounded on the east by Lafayette Street, on the south by Stadium Boulevard, on the west by Monroe Street and on the north by the Missouri River. The western boundary was moved east from the original boundary of Madison Street to Monroe Street, reducing the area effected by the order of curfew.

The police department will announce Saturday if a curfew will be in effect again.

Police said it has been able to control looting because of the restrictions in place, but officers are currently working a case where people were taken into custody for looting a business that was closed that was not within the curfew zone. Williams said the people in custody are not from Jefferson City.

Captain Eric Wilde told the council he goes out hourly to assess the roads. He said he looks for things like water over the road, debris, overhanging limbs, damage to homes and other safety concerns. Wilde said he has seen amazing progress in the last two days in regard to clean-up.

Officials with the Jefferson City Public Works Department also presented to the council.

Matt Morasch, the director of the department, said his department has received a lot of questions about debris disposal. In general, one option is for people to go to the landfill at 5605 Moreau River Access Road, Morasch said. The landfill will have extended hours over the weekend. It will be open Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Monday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., but will be closed Sunday, officials said.

Officials said they have contracted with Twehous Excavating to provide people with a no-charge location to drop off vegetative debris.

Officials said the items should meet the following requirements:

Vegetative debris like tree branches and brush, no household items or trash. Branches and limbs should be no longer than 8 feet in length. Debris can only be accepted from city residences.

The site is in operation between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be open through the holiday weekend. After this week, the facility will be staffed Monday through Saturday. The drop off location is at 2619 North Shamrock Road.

Operations Division Director Britt Smith said the department has divided its work into phases. The first priority is to open the roads, he said. Crews have used everything from snow plows to loaders to push debris back off the roads so that emergency vehicles will be able to access the area, Smith said.

Smith said Ameren crews are helping public works with clearing debris caught and tangled up in power lines. As Ameren repairs lines, public works crews are going through to clear the roads. Then, as crews have been available, they have been trying to clear vegetation from the right of way. Smith said five crews with 12 dump trucks made trips to the drop-off site Friday with vegetative debris. The city of Columbia provided six trucks and drivers, who came in on their day off to assist, officials said.

Smith also updated the council on flooding in the city. He said Thursday afternoon water began coming over the levees in small amounts and around 11:30 a.m. Friday, the levee breached. The airport manager reportedly told the department that water had reached one of the taxiways, but buildings were okay. However, Smith said officials expect this to change. Smith said there are currently no concerns over loss of life, but property damage is imminent.

A live playback of the meeting is below:

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