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One Year Anniversary of the Good Friday Tornado

Thoughts from Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City.

Last year’s Good Friday tornado taught us valuable lessons about safety, recovery, rebuilding and insurance. The tornado was one of the worst storms to hit the area in 40 years. We all watched, waited and hunkered down as the storm traveled from Maryland Heights, across Berkeley and through Ferguson, damaging homes and businesses and leaving downed trees and power lines in its path.

Some of the worst damage occurred in the communities in North County, where some residences and businesses are still recovering from the damage.

It truly was a miracle that no one was killed in our area, and I am still inspired today by the first responders who came from neighboring municipalities to help victims. I will always remember the professionalism and community involvement on display that weekend.

Looking back on that day, I remember certain stories about the storm; a family in Berkeley who only had six seconds to make it to their basement; a resident who had no basement and dodged the tornado by only 10 feet; and dozens of families who lost their homes. As I walked block-by-block through neighborhoods and talked with people about their experiences, I was amazed at the overwhelming generosity that our community displayed as volunteers, neighbors, family members and friends reached out to those in need of assistance. Everywhere I looked, I saw people helping people, as hundreds of volunteers flocked to North County to help.

Most people agree that we are better prepared to handle another disaster like last year’s storm. We should always be willing and able to help those in need, no matter what the situation may be. It is my hope that last year’s Good Friday tornado, while it was destructive, helped bridge our communities together.

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