JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s junior senator says the large volunteer response after last week’s EF-3 tornado in Jefferson City represents the best of America.
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley views a tornado-damaged building near the old MSP in Jefferson City on May 25, 2019 (Brian Hauswirth photo)
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley toured tornado-damaged East Capitol Avenue on Saturday, and visited with dozens of the volunteers who turned out.
“People coming with their tools and their chainsaws to help and clear away things,” Hawley says. “People taking in neighbors and letting them stay in their homes, it really is a testament to the spirit of this state.”
Hawley tells Missourinet that many of the 240 damaged homes and businesses have been destroyed.
More than 1,000 volunteers turned out Saturday in Jefferson City to remove debris and help tornado victims.
Meantime, a state lawmaker who represents the Capital City is praising youth groups and children, for their response to the tornado. State Rep. Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville, says youth groups from Jefferson City, Columbia and other communities have assisted at the Special Olympics Training for Life campus and other impacted locations.
“Anybody who questions the value of our youth and questions whether they are hard workers should have been here yesterday (Friday) and today,” Veit told a Missourinet reporter Saturday, outside the walls of the old Missouri State Penitentiary, which also took a direct hit from the tornado.
The 16-acre Special Olympics campus serves current and future Missouri athletes who have intellectual disabilities.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt will travel to Jefferson City on Tuesday afternoon to survey tornado damage at the Special Olympics Training for Life campus, which is next to a quarry near Highway 54. Missourinet’s Bill Pollock reports the building’s entire glass entrance has been blown out, and part of its roof is missing.
State Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, says he’s grateful that no one was killed in Wednesday’s tornado, which he describes as an amazing testament to the community and the coordination with first responders.
“This has really kind of shown the resilience of our state and the folks in our state, how good of people they are. I mean, there are communities from around the state that are coming in here volunteering,” says Fitzwater.
Representative Fitzwater says Jefferson City will rebuild, thanks to first responders and volunteers who’ve turned out.
As for Senator Hawley, he says tornado damage assessments must get done quickly, so relief can get to impacted communities like Jefferson City and Eldon.