Almost One Year Later: Bridgeton Tornado Damage

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BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI) -On Good Friday 2012, a neighborhood in Bridgeton, Missouri still has scars from the tornado that hit on Good Friday 2011.

"It hit. There was no electricity.  We heard a lot of noise."

Ron Chenault and his wife Gloria spent Good Friday 2011 in their basement, trying to live through the tornado that hit April 22nd.

"It was quiet pretty quickly,' Mr. Chenault remembered.  'We started to go upstairs.  And, we couldn't believe what we saw."

Mayor Conrad Bowers was in the Lake of the Ozarks when the storm hit his home.

"It took us several hours to get back,' Bowers said.  'And, I can't tell you what an empty feeling.  When I walked out here, all my neighbors' houses were leveled.  Leveled"

Everyone was okay, physically.  Then, everyone started to rebuild.  The road back to normal was long for some.

"I had to learn to speak insurance language,' Chenault said.  'To get them to respond for what needed to be done."

Some neighbors' were having uglier fights with their insurance companies.  Their homes were still a mess almost a year later.

"We, the city can actually initiate an action where we demolish a home,' Bowers said.

Residents elsewhere in Bridgeton may never be able to go home again.

"There comes a point when we have to act,' Bowers explained.  'And, we are at that point with a couple of homes."

Still, Mayor Bowers remembered the day the storm left a miracle.

"We are just so fortunate there were no serious injuries, let alone fatalities.  An EF-4 tornado?  Two-hundred mile-an-hour winds?  We were just so fortunate."

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