OAK GROVE, Mo. — During a news conference Tuesday morning to release an update on the damage storms brought to Oak Grove, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said officials would not tolerate any form of looting.
Sheriff Sharp said they already had at least one report of an individual trying to take something from a property he did not have permission to be on.
“We’re going to have a zero tolerance on looters,” Sheriff Sharp said.
He says deputies and officers will remain on the perimeter of the affected areas, including areas in the county, until the displaced residents can get back in their homes. He said troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and any other agencies who volunteer to help will also be used to patrol these areas.
“We are not going to let them be victimized twice,” Sheriff Sharp said if reference to the people whose homes were damage.
Monday’s storm did not come without warning to Oak Grove residents. The city says around 8 p.m. sirens began to sound.
“At this time it appears all sirens operated appropriately,” Fire Chief Carl Scarborough said.
Those sirens likely got residents into safe areas just in time.
No first responders were injured during the storms. There were 12 people who were evaluated by EMS crews and three of them were transported to the hospital, but no life-threatening injuries have been reported.
It was around 8:20 p.m. when the first reports of damage came in.
Tuesday morning’s damage report shows 10-12 businesses and 483 homes were damaged.
"The path of the storm covered approximately 7 miles from beginning to end with intermittent touchdown," Chief Scarborough said.
The fire chief said he wants people still in the Oak Grove area to exercise caution until power lines can be repaired.
"All residents are urged to use caution, as power lines may still be down, and will be dangerous if re-energized," Chief Scarborough said.
City officials also said NOAA damage assessment personnel and City Codes personnel will be out Tuesday to assess the damage.
Anyone who wants to volunteer in any way is encouraged to reach out to Oak Grove City Hall.
The website for the utility company Kansas City Power & Light showed about 40,000 customers without power early Tuesday. That's down from more than 100,000 late Monday night.
The American Red Cross has a shelter at the Oak Grove Civic Center, 2110 S. Broadway, Oak Grove, Mo. to help those in the Grain Valley, Bates City, Oak Grove and Odessa areas who were affected by the storm. A second shelter has been set up at the Gower Christian Church. 203 Third St., Gower, Mo.