ROGERSVILLE, Mo. -- An EF2 tornado April 30th destroyed 13 homes and did major damage to 35 others across the Ozark and Rogersville areas.
Two weeks after the tornado, some homes do not look much different than right after the storm. Residents have sorted through the rubble and saved what they could. But, cleanup crews, including volunteers, have made a lot of progress in picking up debris. Most of the work is now being done with chainsaws and heavy equipment.
Organizations like the Red Cross are doing case work, helping tornado victims figure out what to do next. The Red Cross reports 46 families had either major damage or their homes were destroyed. Many remain in hotels covered by insurance. But a few were not as fortunate.
Mandy McCash was at work when the tornado hit her Ozark home, with her son taking cover in a closet. "Luckily, when I got here, he was so safe, and I was so thankful," says McCash. She is a single mom and shared the rent with another single mom. Neither had yet bought renters insurance.
"It can really drive you emotionally stir crazy if you think about it, but if you just try to stay focused on your main goal of getting a home again, that will eventually come into place," McCash says.
The two moms and their kids are now staying in a hotel room. They hope to stay in the Ozark area, but are having trouble finding another rental.
In the Rogersville area, the storm damaged Terry Martin's house and nearly destroyed his son's house next door. He's still working on cleaning up 32 trees around his home, but is thankful for all the help he's received.
"Everybody has been extremely helpful," said Martin. "You just don't understand what a great neighborhood we live in, and I'm speaking of the Springfield metropolitan area. People have helped us tremendously, and we're just thankful for that."
If you are interested in volunteering or are a tornado victim in need of help, call the United Way of the Ozarks by dialing 211. If you would like to donate for long term recovery efforts, the United Way is also collecting donations for Greene County. In Christian County, the Finley River Community Foundation is taking donations.
Click HERE to donate the United Way of the Ozarks.
Click HERE to donate to the Finley River Community Foundation.