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Whirlwind of emotions, long-term recovery efforts follow Oak Grove tornado

OAK GROVE, Mo. -- A new chapter begins in Oak Grove for people who are still coming to terms with last week’s tornado. FOX 4 checked back in with some familiar faces experiencing a whirlwind of emotions.

Long-term recovery is what folks are looking ahead to, as decision about demolition and rebuilding are being made. Despite the widespread loss, some say the situation has brought out the best of some living here. One week after the tornado hit, tarps cover roofs that have been battered by Mother Nature’s fury.

Splintered trees only amount to fire wood, and people continue to search rubble for what can be salvage. Why did it happen? What does it all mean? What happens now?

“I still haven’t had enough time to process anything yet,” said Pastor Jaylin Storm of Oak Grove Christian Church.

Pastor Storm has been on an emotional roller coaster the past week. Monday he showed items donated for survivors, and shared that some who were hit the hardest, were the ones who wanted to help others the most.

“They see, well my house might have lost a wall, but this house lost i mean the entire house,” said Pastor Storm. “Folks who had suffered damage they were more looking to see how they can help others who had it worse. It was interesting because we were trying to convince folks who need help that they need help because they’re not taking it.”

Aside from the lesson the California native got about Missouri weather: “We had rain and then all the sudden storms and then it was in the 70’s and now it’s freezing cold. Then some snow too,” he learned about the true spirit of the folks he serves. “There’s so much love each other around here, and in Los Angeles I didn’t see that as much. You’d have neighbors that you never knew,” said Pastor Storm.

“It’s amazing to see how everyone’s doing everything they can to help. Even to the point it’s so overwhelming amount of help right now,” said Jana Farmer, a hair stylist with Salon One.

Near closing time, FOX 4 stopped back by Salon One. The salon, and Oak Grove Christian Church were among those making free dinner for survivors the night after the tornado hit.

In seven days Farmer has heard the stories.

“It seems like every day you hear about somebody else or what they’ve come up against with the storms,”said Farmer.

However, she says it warms her heart to see how they’ve handled it all. Meanwhile, law enforcement continues the effort to keep looters out. FOX 4 witnessed neighborhood patrols in progress Monday night.