Jefferson City officials are reminding residents to separate their piles of tornado debris; Central Missouri Community Action and Columbia College have announced temporary shelter is available in dorms in Columbia for families displaced by last week's tornado; and North Carolina-based nonprofit Samaritan's Purse has opportunities for volunteers to deploy this weekend.
An EF-3 tornado with winds of 160 mph hit Jefferson City at 11:45 p.m. May 22, leaving a 3-mile path of more than 2,000 damaged buildings from Christy Drive to the Missouri River.
That destruction created an immense amount of debris from buildings and fallen trees that has to be removed.
A news release from Jefferson City's Department of Public Works, dated May 30, reported as of the day before, the equivalent of about 1,600 dump truck loads of non-compacted vegetative debris had been deposited at the drop-off site for the debris.
The city measured that as 8,200 cubic yards of compacted vegetative debris — tree limbs, branches, logs, stumps, root balls, leaves, bushes and other plant material.
The city also released a flyer and accompanying information Friday to guide residents on how to expedite the debris removal process:
Debris should be stacked parallel to and placed within 10 feet of the curb, but not in the street; debris should not block a roadway. The city will collect debris from residential properties at no cost if the debris is stacked within the appropriate distance from the curb on a public street.
Do not place debris near trees, utility poles, fire hydrants or mail boxes, as this will slow the removal process down.
Debris must also be separated into two piles: vegetative debris in one, with material in it being cut down to no more than 8 feet in length; and storm-blown building debris in the other pile — lumber, roofing, drywall, flooring, insulation, siding, bricks, and other building materials and furnishings.
Material that should not be placed at curbs includes appliances, electronics, household garbage, hazardous waste, clothes and other household contents. "Handle these types of waste through recycling, regular trash disposal or approved hazardous waste disposal. These types of waste are the responsibility of the property owner."
"Additionally, any building debris or building materials removed or torn from damaged buildings or any type of reconstruction materials are not to be placed at the curb. The disposal of materials from demolition or reconstruction, as well as household contents, is the responsibility of the property owner."
People with questions about tornado debris may call the city at 573-634-6410.
Jefferson City Police Department's Lt. David Williams also reported Friday that the Jefferson City landfill will be open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. today.
Columbia College dorms available
Central Missouri Community Action and Columbia College announced Friday that individuals and families who lost their homes in the tornado would be welcome to stay at the college's Banks Hall in Columbia, at 706 N. 8th St.
Columbia College's dean for student affairs, Dave Roberts, said in a news release from CMCA that "Although several temporary shelters are open, most offer little privacy for families and are not a sustainable option."
To qualify to stay at Banks Hall, families need to visit the CMCA Family Resource Center at 1109 Southwest Blvd. in Jefferson City to meet with a family resource specialist to document their needs and receive a referral.
Banks Hall is air-conditioned and offers rooms with "two of everything, including twin beds, desks, dressers and closets. Each floor has a television lounge and two large bathrooms (men's and women's) with multiple showers, toilets and sinks. A community kitchen, computer lab, recreation room and laundry facilities are also available for use to those who stay there," according to CMCA's news release.
To assist families who move in, CMCA is requesting donations of blankets, sheets, pillows, pillowcases, towels and washcloths. Those donations may be delivered to CMCA's Administration Building located at 807 North Providence Road in Columbia.
Samaritan's Purse deploying volunteers
Nonprofit organization Samaritan's Purse is deploying volunteers today and Sunday, according to a news release from the United Way of Central Missouri.
Volunteers need to wear long pants, close-toed/hard-soled shoes and work gloves. They should report to the Assembly of God Church at 1900 Route C in Jefferson City for orientation, after which volunteers will receive their assigned deployment.
Orientations are available today and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
City presents storm-relief data
In addition to its measurement of how much vegetative debris has been deposited, the City's Department of Public Works also released preliminary counts of how many hours its workers have dedicated to tornado and flood-related responses:
For tornado event operations: 145 man hours and 24 equipment hours.
For flood shuttle operations for state employees: On May 28-29, 77 man hours and 60 equipment hours. State workers took approximately 1,100 rides during those first two days of the shuttle's operation, from the Capital Mall and lower Missouri State Penitentiary parking lot. All transit routes are available for free to state workers who show their IDs.
The flood shuttle operations have been spurred by the inundation of state parking lots by floodwaters.
As of May 29, Public Works had dedicated 2,500 man hours and 1,400 heavy equipment hours to tornado debris removal. The department has utilized staff "primarily from Streets and supplemented by Wastewater, Parking, Parks and Rec (departments) and volunteer crews from Capital Paving as well as City of Columbia."
The Missouri River at Jefferson City was at 32.79 feet Friday, according to the National Weather Service, and it was forecast to crest at 32.9 feet on Sunday.