Gov. Parson declares Knox County disaster area; cleanup underway


Baring, Mo. following Friday's tornado. — Photo by Jordin Taylor

BARING, Mo. — Volunteers from all over the United States have been landing in Baring following the devastating tornado that destroyed the tiny Knox County, Missouri town this weekend.

The volunteers are from Weaverland Disaster Services, a Mennonite disaster response ministry that has responded to everything from New Orleans hurricane damage to Joplin. Locally they put 100 on the ground just for cleanup on Saturday all from Knox and Scotland counties. They had more volunteers preparing food at the Baring firehouse.

They will remove the rest of the debris and being demolition. They expect to have the entire town cleaned up and beautified by tomorrow evening when the teen group hits down with mowers, weed whackers and the like.

Going forward they have already offered their services to the people of Baring for the rebuild.

Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 23-08, activating the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan in response to severe weather and flooding that has been impacting the state beginning on July 29.

On August 4, tornadoes struck in Ray (EF-0), Saline (EF-0), and Knox (EF-2) counties. The Knox County tornado and strong winds destroyed or did major damage to at least 35 residences and displaced at least 16 people in the Baring area. Two minor injuries were reported there. There was also substantial flooding overnight in the Kirksville area.

“Since July 29, Missouri has repeatedly been hit by severe weather and flooding that has damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure,” Governor Parson said. “This ongoing weather system has also strained resources as first responders and public works crews continue to respond. We want to ensure that all necessary state resources are available as damaging weather continues to threaten Missouri communities. We are grateful for the work public servants, utility crews, and volunteers have been doing to support their neighbors. We urge all Missourians to follow local weather forecasts and to be prepared to protect themselves and their loved ones whenever severe weather threatens their communities.

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