The estimated damage from the tornado and severe storms that ravaged part of St. Charles County on Friday, December 10, is more than $ 3.4 million, according to estimates by county inspectors. The County Building and Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department examined 240 structures in two days; 26 structures were destroyed and 20 sustained significant damage.
“The staff in the community development department worked diligently throughout the weekend to make sure we knew which structures were safe to inhabit or enter,” said Steve Ehlmann, St. Charles County Director. “Ameren and Cuivre River Electric responded immediately to our calls for help and power lines were removed from the roads for additional safety. The crews immediately began work on restoring power.
Ehlmann says that overall, 72 structures in the path of the tornado were either destroyed, suffered major or minor damage, or were affected by the storm in some way. Three people were injured, including one fatal.
“While any loss of life is a tragedy,” says Ehlmann, “we were fortunate that others were not seriously injured and more homes and businesses were not destroyed. Anyone who sees photos of the destruction at Defiance or other places where a tornado has touched down should now know what such storms can do. When the warning sirens are activated, go to the lowest level of the house or building. In at least one case in Defiance, the basement was all that was left. “
According to reports from the National Weather Service, tornado EF3 made landfall around 7:30 pm west of Defiance on Freeway F and traveled approximately 2.5 miles to Hwy 94. It followed suit. Missouri River to St. Louis County, then returned to St. Charles. County southeast of Harvester. The most damage occurred in the Defiance area.
“The response from first responders has been amazing,” says Ehlmann, “and shows how this community comes together when needed. Nine area fire departments, the St. Charles County Ambulance District, St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management, and St. Charles County Police and Emergency Communications Services have were joined by the American Red Cross, AmeriCorps, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to help with injuries, damages, meals, supplies, and any other assistance needed. We are fortunate to have such dedicated partners.
Ehlmann says the cleanup is underway and the county is planning to pick up debris from affected areas to help homeowners who do not have insurance for debris removal. He encourages those who still need help to call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS, or follow the St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management Facebook page for more information.
In addition, a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC), coordinated by the American Red Cross, is being set up from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 17, at the United Church of Christ St. Paul, 150 Defiance Road to Defiance. MARC serves as a venue for local and state agencies and social service organizations to answer questions and provide disaster information and assistance to those affected by the disaster. Those present must bring proof of address and dinner will be served.