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Weather-related community announcements for Thursday, May 23, 2019

Weather-related community announcements for Thursday, May 23, 2019

May 23rd, 2019 in Local News
Amin Gaaloul submitted this photo showing a funnel cloud against lightning as the storm system approached Jefferson City late Wednesday night, May 22, 2019.

Here's a roundup of Jefferson City community announcements related to tornado damage and flooding.

Last updated at 3:54 p.m.

Access to NewsTribune.com has been opened to everyone today, regardless of subscription status, due to the tornado emergency and the resulting difficulty of producing and delivering the print edition.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson urged citizens to stay away from damaged areas in Jefferson City, as well as in other damaged areas of the state. With many buildings and areas being compromised in Jefferson City, Parson says non-essential state employees in the Jefferson City area who were instructed to remain home on Thursday should also not report to work on Friday.

The Missouri Department of Transportation will close both lanes of eastbound U.S. 50/63 in Jefferson City from Monroe Street to Clark Avenue beginning at 2 p.m. today (a change from the original time) to remove debris from the Lincoln University president's house, which has the potential to fall onto the route. The clean-up effort is expected to take about two hours. Motorists are advised to avoid this area. While there are no convenient detour routes around the work zone due to overnight storms causing local road closures, U.S. 50/63 eastbound traffic can take 179 south to Route B south to Route M east to 50 east. Westbound U.S. 50/63 in the same area is also highly congested. MoDOT asks motorists to avoid U.S. 50/63 eastbound and westbound in this area until further notice.

Shelters: The American Red Cross has the following shelter locations open:

  • Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 1201 Fairgrounds Road, Jefferson City.
  • Upper Elementary School FEMA Tornado Safe Room, 407 E. 15th St, Eldon.
  • Eldon Community Center: 309 E. 2nd St., Eldon.

Items to bring include clothing for a few days, bedding, toiletries, essential medication, and items for your children.

Red Cross donations: During and after disasters, cash donations best enable the Red Cross to help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation donate online at www.redcross.org. Individuals can also sign up to become a volunteer.

To contact unreachable family and friends: The American Red Cross encourages those in areas affected by severe storms to list themselves as "safe and well" online at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/. Family and friends may then search for the name of anyone they are trying to locate on this site.

Caring Closet at Cole R-5 School at Eugene has clothing and personal items for those in need from the storm, open until 4 p.m. today (Thursday).

Parts of the Missouri State Penitentiary were hit during the storm. All tours have been canceled until further notice.

Jefferson City Public Schools canceled Thursday night's Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) graduation ceremony has been canceled. All participants have been notified.

JCPS district offices are closed Thursday as many of the district's buildings are still without power and several sustained damage overnight. State and local emergency response agencies have asked people to stay off the roads while further damage assessments are conducted.

Lincoln University closed its campus early Thursday morning and, because of the holiday weekend, won't reopen until Tuesday.

The Missouri Department of Labor announced that, due to storm damage, the Employment Security Office Building, 421 E. Dunklin St., is closed Thursday.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has moved this weekend's Class 3, 4 and 5 Track & Field Championships from Jefferson City. The Class 3 Championships will be held Saturday at Audrey J. Walton Track & Field facility on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia. All Para-events will also be held Saturday at Walton Track. The Class 4 Championships will be held Saturday at Washington High School in Washington, Mo. The Class 5 Championships will be held Saturday at Battle High School in Columbia, Mo. Further info at https://www.mshsaa.org/CMSPages/2019Wk2TrackAnnouncement.aspx

Ameren Missouri has activated its emergency storm response to assess damage and restore service to customers as quickly and safely as possible. If you see a downed line, please stay away and call us immediately at 1-800-552-7583 or report it to 911. Information on outage status and other relevant information is available online at Ameren's Outage Center at http://spr.ly/6015El1ad .

The Providence Bank Ellis Banking Center located at 300 Ellis Boulevard was damaged Wednesday night and will remain closed temporarily. No one at the bank was injured as a result of the tornado, but the building sustained significant damage. Building service personnel responded to the scene and have secured the structure. Customers may access their accounts and make transactions at other Providence Bank locations in Jefferson City, Columbia or Osage Beach.

The Knowles YMCA will be open normal hours Friday from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Summer Camp begin Tuesday, May 28 as scheduled.  The Y's Child Development Center will be closed Friday. The Firley YMCA will remain closed indefinitely due to the exterior and interior damage. The West and Knowles YMCA facilities are available for use.

Following the devastating storms and tornadoes, Missouri Attorney General Schmitt is strongly warning of price gouging and scams in the aftermath. 

Cole County Public Works reports the Brooks Park ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for Friday is canceled. It will be rescheduled at a later date.

For the People Pow Wow scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Jefferson City has been cancelled following the storm and bad weather expected in the forecast this weekend.

Jefferson City Dance Academy's "Gretchen and Gretel" 40th Spring Recital is still taking place at 7 p.m. Friday but has been relocated to North School in Holts Summit.