Community members and emergency service responders move across Dunklin Street

Community members and emergency service responders move across Dunklin Street on May 23, 2019, in Jefferson City. Trees and power lines were downed along the street near Lincoln University. The May 22 tornado packed an estimated wind peak of 160 mph and destroyed about 240 businesses and homes.

JEFFERSON CITY — Friday marked the first anniversary of an EF-3 tornado hitting Jefferson City.

Instead of focusing on the pain of that night, Mayor Carrie Tergin said the community focused on the progress it has made in the time since.

”Here we are a year later, and there’s a lot of hope and a lot of things for us to celebrate, how far we’ve come in a year,” she said.

Tergin said the city was originally planning to hold an in-person community celebration, but COVID-19 forced some changes.

The celebration included a procession of vehicles to thank first responders and a virtual wall-raising at a home Habitat for Humanity is rebuilding.

The event was a partnership among United Way of Central Missouri, River City Habitat for Humanity and city leaders.

They called the procession a “Care-A-Van,” and it featured about 20 vehicles representing different health and human service agencies, law enforcement and faith-based groups that helped with disaster recovery and the COVID-19 response.

Tergin said Friday’s events were designed to show how dedicated first responders and organizations are to helping Jefferson City recover.

”These communities that help people, they’ve been there from before day one,” she said. “We’re still there a year later and we’re still going to be there together.”

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