MODR Assists with Windstorm Recovery in Waynesville, MO   

MODR Assists with Windstorm Recovery in Waynesville, MO   

Tharran Gaines – MODR Public Information Officer

April Fool’s Day was anything but a joke for the residents in and around Waynesville and St. Robert, Missouri, when an EF 1 tornado and straight-line winds tore through the area on the night of April 1 and early morning of April 2nd.

Officials with Laclede Electric Cooperative say that winds broke poles and caused outages to around 8,100 customers. However, the storms also left a considerable amount of damage in their path, including downed trees and branches. Fortunately, Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief workers were on site within a matter of days to lend a hand.

“We’ve already had two chainsaw teams on the ground,” said Adam Freeman, MODR South Central Regional Coordinator. “We had to wait until we were cleared to go in by COAD (Community Organizations Assisting Disasters), which has coordinated all relief efforts. Still, we had crews on-site by April 4th.”

Freeman relates that because of his full-time job, he has had to coordinate MODR relief efforts off-site, while relying on Ann Stevenson and Jim Blount to manage operations.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of help from a number of groups,” Ann Stevenson related. “It’s all been coordinated through COAD, which has accepted the work orders and distributed them to the various groups. By the middle of April, we had received 29 work orders and had completed 15 of those. All total, between MODR, COAD and the other church groups and volunteers, around 50 jobs have been completed in that same time period.”

“Most of the work involved trees that were down in yards, although there were a couple situations involving trees on houses,” said Bradley Jemes, Laclede Baptist Association DOM and unit leader for one of chainsaw crews. “Some of the damage looked like it was straight-line winds, yet there were other places where it looked like the tops had been twisted off the trees. We also saw places where whole trees were down, which required cutting them into manageable pieces and moving them to the curb.”

         Stevenson noted that in addition to coordinating work assignments, COAD has also been supplying meals for the teams and that due to the close proximity, most of the DR workers, who have primarily come from the surrounding counties, have been commuting from home during the call-out.          “We probably still have a another week of work before the end of April,” she said. “In the meantime, our goal, as always, is not just to provide a service, but to bring Help, Hope and Healing to a community in need.”