JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CNS) — Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City expressed gratitude that lives were spared and that all residents of the Missouri capital are accounted for following a devastating tornado.
He said in a May 23 statement that the staff of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri were assessing the needs of residents. Some people were forced from their homes as the storm swept through the city of 43,000 just before midnight May 22.
Diocesan offices on the west side of Jefferson City and Catholic parishes around the town were unaffected by the storm.
“Please continue to pray with us, for those who have suffered from this natural disaster and also for those who are coming to their assistance,” Bishop McKnight said.
The most severe damage occurred in a three-square-mile area south and east of the central part of the Missouri capital, Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams told reporters.
About 40 to 45 people were being housed the afternoon of May 23 in a school on the west side of the city, authorities said.
Homes, apartments and businesses lost roofs and windows. Power lines were down and trees and other debris blocked roads, hampering the initial emergency response. Some scaffolding erected around the Missouri State Capitol for renovation work was damaged, but the building escaped unscathed.
A spokeswoman for Catholic Charities USA said the agency was working with Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri to assess how to best respond to people affected by the storm.
CCUSA also is weighing its response in areas of northeast Oklahoma and elsewhere, where residents have been displaced by flooding caused by days of heavy rain.
A violent line of thunderstorms that spawned the tornadoes killed three people in southwest Missouri and caused minor injuries to at least 20 people in Jefferson City, authorities said. Some people in the capital were trapped in their homes or apartments and had to be assisted by safety forces.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103