Lebanon, Mo. cleanup from May storms may last weeks

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 3:46 PM CDT
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It has been nearly a month since straight-line winds ripped through Lebanon, making the south side of town look like a war zone. Crews are saying it will be a few more weeks before things are back to normal .

Five crews and 16 dump trucks were out cleaning up debris Thursday.

“We’ve got about a week, week and a half left of picking up truckloads,” Mayor Jared Carr said.

Damages in Lebanon were equivalent to an EF-1 tornado, with wind speeds around 90 mph ripping through the town on May 4th.

"I looked up the street and I was like, Oh boy. They really got hit there,” Darrell Decker, whose neighborhood was hit, said.

Power lines were snapped like toothpicks, sturdy trees came crashing down.

Rich Tabor, who lost several trees and had roof damage, said, “This oak tree that was here was probably 3 foot in diameter and it just laid it down.”

Planes at the airport were blown out of their hangers. Roofs at the airport are covered in tarps and needing repairs from wind damage.

“200 electrical poles were down,” Mayor Carr said.

Some people were without power for two weeks.

Cleanup efforts were slowed by rainy May weather.

“Wet weather and the rain has really slowed us down. Having crews come onto people’s properties without damaging their yards, we’ve had to fight with that,” Mayor Carr said,

Hardest hit areas on the south side of town were cleaned up first. After they are cleared, they will move onto digging up tree stumps.

Despite the damages and long clean-up, residents are keeping things in perspective.

“We all actually lucked out, it could have been worse,” Decker said.