Carl Junction tornado six months later

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CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The holidays may be a little tougher this year for some Carl Junction tornado victims who still aren’t back in their homes.

The EF-3 tornado touched down in Carl Junction on May 22nd in the evening.

It’s been 6 long months, the rebuilding is in full swing in some neighborhoods while just beginning in others.

Others are getting close and hope to be in by Christmas, and the lucky ones are thankful Thanksgiving will be back at home.

Like one victim who was out of town that day.

Nick Jimenez, CJ Tornado Victim, said, “Let us know our house had been hit – it hadn’t been leveled or anything like that but sustained damage and the kids were ok and the dogs were ok.”

Hours away in Jefferson City, Jimenez and his wife made the tough call to drive back first thing in the morning.

“We looked at each other and thought there’s no way.”

They took shelter, surviving the Jefferson City tornado on that same day.

They teamed up friends to help victims of that storm before heading home to deal with damage in Carl Junction.

After four months in a rental home – they’re back and thankful.

“We’re not the ones that were put out by this – it’s those poor people who still aren’t in their homes and those who are struggling to get in.”

It’s not a short list, there’s construction going on in block after block – even more than the 317 homes originally thought to be damaged.

Steve Lawver, CJ City Administrator said, “There were over 400 building permits issued.”

Even where repairs are complete, it still doesn’t look the same – with trees missing and some buildings gone forever.

However, Lawver believes those reminders will fade.

“You look at our tornado in 2003 you can’t tell that there’s any damage left at all in town of where it went through, 16 years later it’s all grown back up and trees have been replaced and homes have been repaired and you just don’t have any idea it happened.”

City leaders originally thought 317 homes have been affected, but now say that number is likely closer to 440.

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