Bridgeton Marks Second Good Friday Tornado Anniversary

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BRIDGETON, MO. (KTVI) – This week marks the two year anniversary of the Good Friday tornado that ripped through north St. Louis County.  And it has been two weeks since a tornado roared through Hazelwood.

Friday, a story of those who have been through a crisis and the advice they have for those who are just beginning to rebuild their lives.

Hazelwood resident Jerry Brown was asked how the repair work is going.

He answered, “well, discouraging because I don't see anyone with a hammer yet but they told me once they get to hammering it will move right along, kind of swiftly."

Brown's home was one of about 150 homes in Hazelwood damaged from the tornado two weeks ago.  Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson says that number may go higher, "the biggest thing is solicitors and contractors making sure they're registered down at city hall and there's no fine or fee for them to pay. And we just want to know who is doing business in the city."

It has been a financial toll and an emotional toll. "It’s kind of hard to get out of my head with other things going on to but that's a process too and I’m seeking some help and everything so," said brown.

Similar feelings for Bridgeton resident Cindy Derda whose home was heavily damaged two years ago in the Good Friday tornado.  "I still have dreams about it and especially when they say a storm's coming when you’re in something that traumatic you don't forget it and I don't think I’ll ever forget that sound," she said.  During the rebuilding she had to move out of her home for a year.  Derda said, "It is traumatic and the people in Hazelwood I feel so bad for them because I know I know how they're feeling they're thinking it’s never going to end."

Derda says patience is the key.  '"I learned whenever you go through something like this hire a general contractor don't ever try to do it on your own because it was so overwhelming."

But she says it does get better.  "When I get out here and cut my grass and I look and say okay lord we made it through this tornado please don't let another one."

The St. Louis County Assessor says the storm that ripped through north county two weeks ago caused more than 4 million dollars in damage to residential property alone.

That figure is just preliminary.  Of the more than 150 that were damaged, the assessment team has only spoken with about 40 homeowners.

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