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Relief for Jefferson City tornado victims continues with free trees


Local organizations are giving victims of the EF-3 tornado that hit Jefferson City on May 22 a chance to regrow with trees.

So far, 489 buildings have been recorded as having storm damage from various data sources including Missouri Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation, the American Red Cross, Missouri Task Force One and City of Jefferson Building Regulations, according to city officials.

The MOSAVE Building Safety Assessment Dashboard shows 102 buildings were marked as unsafe, and that 81 were marked restricted use.

Officials don’t know exactly how many have been restored since the storm, but Jefferson City has issued 174 building permits for storm damage, and continues to receive more applications.

Capital Garden Club and Bittersweet Garden Club of Jefferson City are partnering with Jefferson City Parks and Recreation, Forest Re-Leaf and the Missouri Department of Conservation to provide free trees for those affected by the tornadoes. Those affected can select two trees from a variety of species.

One tornado victim, Gloria Wildhaber, picked up two trees Thursday for a home she was renting to her son at the time of the tornado.

“It’s gonna make a big difference because my backyard had three trees, and they are all gone,” Wildhaber said.

She said her son and grandkids were home when the tornado hit the home, causing extensive damage. She said she is now planning on restoring the home and selling it.

“We’re just happy everybody was OK,” Wildhaber said. “We’re just going on from there, as long as no one got hurt, that’s the main thing.”

The event continues Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Air Park Pavilion, 532 Airport Road in Eldon.

Those who want trees should bring a driver’s license, photo ID, or recent utility bill.


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