Jefferson City residents cleaning up after catastrophic tornado

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Jefferson City officials say the tornado caused damage to a three square-mile area.

Peggy Demeurers’ apartment was not damaged but her car was.

“It was very quiet and then it was very scary,” she said.

She lives in the Hawthorne Park Apartments. There are 240 units; many of them now destroyed. Lexii Garcia has family who lives in the complex.

“Definitely close to being one of the worst experiences of my life,” she said.

Garcia’s stepdaughter was staying with family members in the complex. Lexii wasn’t able to find out for 11 hours that they did survive and they were okay.

“It’s nervewracking. You don’t understand, you know? They got hit you hear from them once and you don’t hear from them after that," Garcia said.

Power poles are down everywhere,  hundreds have to be replaced.

“We have significant infrastructure damage we probably have close to 200 utility poles broken we have a lot of work to do," Ameren President Michael Moehn said.

He said an army of Ameren trucks and crews have arrived to begin restoring power but that may not happen for everyone until the weekend. Americans are seeing the damage and offering a hand, according to Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe.

"I’m getting calls the governor is getting calls literally from all across the United States and what can we do to help,” Kehoe said.

At least three shelters have opened for folks who longer have a place to stay by noon close to 100 folks showed up for assistance.

“We are moving people that are displaced from the areas impacted out to our shelters," said Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams.

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