It's been one year since a deadly tornado touched down in Perryv - KMOV.com

It's been one year since a deadly tornado touched down in Perryville

Posted: Updated:
The aftermath of a house following the 2017 Perryville tornado. (Credit: KMOV) The aftermath of a house following the 2017 Perryville tornado. (Credit: KMOV)

PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Feb. 28 marks one year since a tornado touched down in Perryville, Missouri.

The EF4 tornado had winds up to 180 miles an hour and left a path of devastation 14 miles long.

Perry County authorities said the tornado blew vehicles off of Interstate 55 and caused damage to houses along Highway 51. 

Read: Perryville tornado survivors thankful the storm wasn't worse

One person died and 10 people were injured when the tornado touched down. Travis M. Koenig, 24, was killed when the tornado hit along Interstate 55.

In the year since the tornado hit, many of the homes damaged have been rebuilt but there are still scars on the town. New drone video from KFVS shows a pair of new buildings and homes still under construction.

One of the hardest hit neighborhoods was along Moore Dr. Most of the trees in that neighborhood are still cut off at the base and mangled in piles. "The big reminder is that patch of trees that's no longer there," said Dustin Ellis, who lives along Moore Dr. He considers himself lucky to only lose his roof and some of the siding on his home the night of the tornado. "I came out and saw my house and was still so shocked it was standing because the first thing I saw was my neighbors houses which were gone," said Ellis

On the night of the one year anniversary, 50 of the 90 families affected by the tornado are being celebrated and honored for their survival and recovery efforts. They are meeting in a private event at the Perryville American Legion, along with the town's mayor. The intention of the this event is "celebrating their recovery, all the all the work, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the phone calls, the waiting, everything that they've been through," said Jennifer Streiler, a disaster case manager, who's been working with these families the past year. 

After the tornado hit, immediately #PerryvilleStrong began trending. Now, after a year has passed, the town is calling themselves #PerryvilleStronger. "We are stronger than we thought we could be, probably stronger than we want to be," said Streiler. Each person attending will go home with a weather radio and a decorated stone made by a Perryville girl scout troupe. "They painted them, they all carry the #PerryvilleStronger with today's date," said Streiler. 

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly