JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri insurance companies took in more than $150 million in claims related to damage from the tornado that hit Miller and Cole counties last year.
Data from the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance shows that people filed $155,814,077 worth of claims from the tornado's strike in May 2019 through March 2020. Of those claims, insurers paid out $144,516,368 to fix homes, cars and businesses.
ABC 17 News reported in November that insurers paid $122 million in claims from May to September 2019.
Jefferson City building department director Larry Burkhardt believes the "lion's share" of the repairs have either been finished or are underway. The department recently approved demolition permits for Riley Automotive and for several buildings at the Hawthorn Park apartments.
The department has issued 263 permits for repairs to buildings damaged by the tornado, according to numbers from Burkhardt. That includes 73 permits for commercial properties and 163 permits for residential properties.
Burkhardt says the experience over the last year gave him a renewed appreciation for building codes that take tornadoes into account. New codes require buildings be built to withstand higher wind speeds and new schools must have tornado shelters that can handle an EF5 tornado.
"I see on TV all these other towns like down south destroyed, I have a lot of better understanding of what something could be," Burkhardt said.