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Clean-Up Under Way After Storm Damages Ava Homes, Businesses

AVA, Mo. -- Locals in Ava spent the day cleaning up after a storm left damage and caused widespread power outages that forced the district to close schools Monday.
AVA, Mo. -- Pieces of torn roofs, downed power lines and other debris were strewn across Ava after a storm moved through overnight, damaging homes and businesses and knocking out power.

School administrators were forced to cancel school Monday because of the outages. Many locals spent the day cleaning up after the storm.

"I got roofs from everybody here in the yard," homeowner Carol Riggs said. "I got a sign come in from one of the lawyers, one of the restaurants."

Many residents who spoke with KOLR 10 said they're glad fallen trees and displaced shingles accounted for most of the damage.

"As far as I know in our community, there's no one hurt," teacher and business owner Jill Heckendorn said. 

Crews worked all day to restore power. Some of the workers were from Springfield's City Utilities. 

"I'm a first grade teacher and we've missed a lot of school for weather, but we never thought we'd lose electricity and be out for that," Heckendorn said.

Jill and her husband, Rick Heckendorn, spent the day cleaning debris from their damaged shop, Walley's Flowers, on the town's square.

Nearby, many homeowners did the same. A piece of wood bore into Riggs' home.

"It's right there," she said, pointing to the cracked lumber. "I haven't taken it out yet."

While many were without power, they weren't without help. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office even enlisted work from county jail inmates. Many neighbors also asked to pitch in.

"People have stopped to help pick stuff up," Riggs said.

"Everybody is pitching in," Rick Heckendorn said.


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