‘It’s unreal, honestly:’ Baring, Mo. in recovery mode following Friday night twister

Published: Aug. 6, 2023 at 6:37 PM CDT
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BARING, Mo. (WGEM) - Sunday looks a lot better than Saturday is the mantra around town after the National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado ripped through late Friday night.

Around 60 Ameren workers have been in town since early Saturday, having restored power early Sunday afternoon. Although, for homes that are destroyed, it makes no difference.

Meal after meal is being served at the Baring Firehouse. That’s also where nearly a dozen American Red Cross volunteers are operating out of. So far, they’ve helped 33 families.

Debbie McCurren is one resident that is now living in a family member’s RV after the tornado completely destroyed her apartment at the local senior living center. The 16 others who lived there also are displaced.

“It seemed like it came blowing in [the storm] and then blowing down and then stuff started falling on top of me,” Debbie McCurren said.

Debbie McCurren wasn’t hurt, and no other residents faced any serious injuries, according to the Knox County Emergency Management Director.

Inside Debbie McCurren’s apartment, mud is caked in every visible area. The ceiling is ripped out, but some material from the roof is still there. She said the storm first made it’s entrance by blowing out the windows and then ripping the front door off its frame.

“What I remember hearing was all the limbs and trees falling and the metal flying around and hitting things,” Debbie McCurren said.

Several of Debbie McCurren’s family members have spent the weekend helping her move out.

“I grew up at the Baring Lake, so I’ve grew up here all my life and just to see everyone, almost everyone here being displaced and everything like that it’s pretty terrible,” Debbie McCurren’s grandson Braxton McCurren said. “It’s a movie, it’s definitely a movie, I don’t even know, it’s unreal honestly.”

The American Red Cross is joining other agencies to create a multi-agency resource center (MARC) on Wednesday in nearby Edina for local residents to seek further assistance. Volunteer Charles Hunter said it’ll be at 207 4th Street.

“People, families that’ve been affected by the tornado, can go in and learn other resources that can provide them short terms and long term relief in this tornado,” Hunter said.

NWS reported the tornado started southeast of town around 11:13 p.m. and moved through the community. The tornado was on the ground for two minutes and approximately 1.64 miles and reached a width of 450 yards.


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