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Engineering team helps city inspect storm-damaged buildings

A team of structural engineers helped Jefferson City inspect buildings at risk of further damage after Wednesday’s tornado.

The Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation team, or S.A.V.E., went building-to-building on Friday to look at damaged structures. The team put colored tags on each building to signify the safety of the building. A green tag shows the building is safe to occupy, a yellow tag means parts of the building are unsafe, and a red tag shows an unsafe building to stay in.

“The structure has to survive a repeat event, so if there’s another strong storm many of the houses have damaged walls, they could collapse,” Benjamin Ross, S.A.V.E. board president said. “But any time there’s a load on the structure that’s not designed for it, that could cause it to be a yellow or red tag.”

A news release from Jefferson City on the partnership said a red tag does not mean the building must be demolished. The home may require extensive repairs, such as a new roof, and may require a city permit to proceed.

Missouri Task Force One’s sweep of Jefferson City following the storm found 157 damaged buildings, 55 failed buildings and 11 destroyed structures. No one was killed or trapped by collapsed buildings, according to the rescue group.

The Wednesday night tornado was the strongest storm to hit Jefferson City since 1927, when an EF4 tornado swept through Cole, Boone and Callaway counties. Six people died in Callaway County in that storm.

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