35 homes uninhabitable in Baring, Mo. as recovery efforts continue

Around 70 volunteers, local, regional and national helped cut down tree limbs, pile debris and more.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 4:56 PM CDT
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BARING, Mo. (WGEM) - Noticeable changes are being made to a town where an EF-2 tornado ripped through just three days ago. Everyday, more and more volunteers are coming to Knox County to assist as needed.

“At last count that I had, there was approximately give or take 35 homes that were pretty well uninhabitable,” said Knox County Emergency Management Director Bill Whiles.

Around 70 volunteers, local, regional and national helped cut down tree limbs, pile debris and more. Homes are destroyed, major trees are down and even the local restaurant is out of business for the time being. Since Friday night’s twister, the Baring Firehouse has been the town’s headquarters for food, water and resting.

“At this time we’re down to only having three individuals that are having to stay in a motel,” Whiles said.

Those accommodations are being paid for by donations. Of the 100 or so that live in Baring, the displaced are also staying with family in the area while they clean up what’s left of their homes.

Teresa Moore had lived in the town’s senior housing site for less than a year before Friday night turned her life upside down. She was on the couch asleep when she said she heard a loud boom. Then the glass from her windows broke abruptly.

“The ceiling came down on me, on my head, and it was so heavy I couldn’t get it off and so I had to sit there for a while,” Moore said.

Moore said she was rescued by someone who had to bust the door to get in. Now, Moore is staying with her sister who lives nearby. Moore came away unharmed, only having suffered a cut to her leg. So far, no serious injuries have been reported overall.

Some houses that are a total loss are being torn down and burnt.

On Wednesday, a multi-agency resource center (MARC) will be in Edina to further assist families. Afterwards, Whiles said he’d like to hone his focus on families that need help the most.

“We will then probably really start focusing on uninsured people or people with disabilities,” Whiles said.

Insurance workers and contractors were in town Monday assessing the damage. Whiles said residents will be left to deal with insurance on their own. Power was restored to the town around 2 p.m. Sunday, but some still may be without power depending on the damage of their home.

Mental health counselors broke onto the scene to help effected residents. They plan to be in Baring and Edina for the next few days. In Baring, residents can go to the Baring Hall for assistance. In Edina, they can go to the Knox County Health Department by appointment.

Clothing donations can be dropped off at the Clothes Closet in Edina. Food donations can be dropped off at the Food Cupboard, also in Edina.


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