Appeal for prayers after Missouri tornado

Appeal for prayers after Missouri tornado This bungalow's roof was torn off as the storm hit the state of Missouri. Photo Credit: Missouri State Highway Patrol

Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City has 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 on 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.

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.