Hazelwood Damage Will Take Months To Repair

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HAZELWOOD, MO (KTVI) - The damage to a Hazelwood neighborhood will take months to clean up.  On Sunday more than a dozen agencies including the American Red Cross and the United Way were offering help on Sunday.

The Red Cross continues to operate a shelter at the Hazelwood Community Center and residents can call 2-1-1 for information on help that is available.

Amanda Tenshler was in awe over the damage in her family's back yard.  She saw a tornado-blown tree branch sticking out of the mud and though it was a few inches deep.

"It was three and a half feet in the ground," said Tenshler.  "It took us 45 minutes to dig it out."

The city says 90 homes have been damaged and 18 of them are uninhabitable.  Mayor Matthew Robinson is asking residents to push all of their tree branches to the curb so the city can dispose of them.

The next step will be getting rid of the rest of the trash.

"We're going to talk about picking up the storm debris real soon, putting a program together to do that," explained Robinson.

Among the many volunteers on Sunday was a group of theatre students from Hazelwood
Central High School.

Educator Aubrey Rinesmith led the group of volunteers. Rinesmith lost her Bridgeton home to a tornado in 2011.

"I remember clearly, packing up my home and working so hard that I would actually forget to stop and eat and take care of myself," recalled Rinesmith.  "So the one thing I wanted to do today was to come around with some protein and say, when you need a break, sit down have a banana maybe a sandwich."

Nate Smith is one of the residents receiving help from volunteers.

"It makes me feel good that I seem able to get some help with my bad situation," said Smith.