Berkeley Tornado One Year Later

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BERKELEY, MO (KTVI)-- St. Louis felt the remnants of those storms that swept through Oklahoma over the weekend when tornado watches went into effect in our area.

Some Berkeley residents were on edge. They remember the devastating tornado that struck their community last year.

Berkeley has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. However, when you walk through neighborhoods and spot homes in dire need of repair, you realize more work needs to be done after the devastating storm.

The tornado that ripped through Berkeley nearly a year ago was fast and powerful. More than 400 homes in the community were destroyed or damaged, including Clarice Shipp’s house.

Shipp, wide eyed and excited, has reason to smile. Her home has been remodeled, not just outside, inside, too.

Some neighbors in this well established community aren`t as lucky as Shipp. Nearly a dozen homes are still covered with tarp, and windows are still covered with plywood.

Tony DeNatale repaired his rental property after it sustained about $5,000 worth of damage in the storm, but he’s having a difficult time renting the three bedroom house, and he’s not sure why.

As of March, the city of Berkeley was eligible for about $270,000 dollars worth of reimbursement funding from FEMA because of the storm. It’s waiting to receive $165,000.

Shipp didn’t receive federal assistance. Her home was covered by insurance. She admits she considered selling it, but decided to join her neighbors and help rebuild the community.

City leaders are hoping to get a little more money from FEMA, pending approval of two debris removal projects.

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