Looking Back (Good Friday Tornado)

A year ago, this day, a series of storms dropped several tornadoes across the city of St. Louis.  Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed.  STL Airport received a direct hit.  Many neighborhoods were reduced to nothing but piles of ruins.  One house was gone, the next almost untouched.  While there were several injuries, it was a miracle that nobody was killed as the line of tornadoes raced from west to east across the city.

That night, members of the St. Louis AmeriCorps Emergency Response Team (ERT) responded.  Over the next couple weeks, hundreds of volunteers and organizations poured out.  Among them, All Hands Volunteers with the help of two AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) teams based out of Denver and two teams from the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC).

While we started off doing damage assessment throughout the destruction area, most of the work we did was debris clearing.  Working alongside the ERT, the WCC, and the various other volunteers gave us the experience needed to step up and become leaders.

We learned a lot about chainsaw work (bucking and limbing), teamwork, and the strength of a community that was brought to its knees.  The experience prepared us for bigger challenges that we were going to be facing in the coming month. 

Today, we remember the devastation that ripped through St. Louis a year ago.  We also stand and remember the eleventh month anniversary of the destruction of Joplin. 

Just some thoughts…

God Bless and PEACE

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