HAZELWOOD – Three weeks into the spring storm season, an April 10 tornado destroyed 12 homes and damaged another 60, prompting the first DR call-out of the year.
“We’ve been busy,” said Dwain Carter, Director of Disaster Relief for the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Disaster Relief Volunteers from churches around the state have assessed 92 different job sites, and completed work on 84 properties. Those jobs include four temporary “blue tarp” roofs, and debris removal. The gritty, dirty work also allowed for 153 ministry contacts, resulting in giving away 21 Bibles and 11 gospel presentations.
The damage centered on a narrow 3-block by 40-block section of Hazelwood, just north of St. Louis’ Lambert Airport. In addition to the homes, there was a lot of tree damage, Carter said. The area took a similar hit two years ago on Good Friday when a tornado heavily damaged the airport.
“The response from Hazelwood Baptist Church has been amazing,” Carter said. They’ve opened up and taken care of all the cooking.”
At press time, Hazelwood Baptist Church members have prepared 334 hot meals for victims in addition to the ministry provided by chainsaw teams, assessors and chaplains from First Baptist Church in Arnold, and St. Louis Metro, Jefferson and Pulaski Baptist Associations.