Governor Nixon tours damage in Puxico, Oak Ridge - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Governor Nixon tours damage in Puxico, Oak Ridge

Gov. Nixon surveys damage in Puxico Gov. Nixon surveys damage in Puxico
Gov. Nixon visits with children in Oak Ridge (Source: cNews) Gov. Nixon visits with children in Oak Ridge (Source: cNews)

Missouri's Governor, Jay Nixon, stressed the importance of preparation, response, repairs and review as he toured damage in Puxico and Oak Ridge on Thursday.

Wednesday, Governor Nixon declared a State of Emergency.

"We want to do all we can to help these families get their lives back in order," said Governor Nixon as he addressed city officials and authorities at City Hall in Puxico.

"We will do everything we can to get funds through FEMA and SEMA and other agencies, we will work to get power back up and homes rebuild, we will also work to get our first responders trained to save lives," he said.

In southeast Missouri, Gov. Nixon began his tour of damage in Stoddard County.

Heartland News was there for an emotional meeting between Charlotte Harty and Gov. Nixon.

Harty says she considers Mark Champlin her stepfather. According to authorities, Champlin died as a result of yesterday's storms when he was thrown from his mobile home.

Champlin's girlfriend, 55-year-old Sandra Hemby, was also thrown from the home. Harty says Hemby is her stepmother.

"She's in the hospital, she's going to be okay," Harty told Gov. Nixon. "She's had to go through several surgeries. She lost everything. She and Mark were good people."

Harty now lives in Jackson but says she was in New York when she heard the storms had moved through.

"I got online and it confirmed my fears," said Harty. "I had to fly through a storm to get home. We are just working to clean up here. Sandy had lived here with Mark for about ten years. She was on disability. She really has nothing left."

"This is the hardest thing we see a family go through," said Gov. Nixon. "We want to make sure families are ready, we want to make sure they have weather radios, we want to make sure they have a plan and they know what to do if a tornado or storm is coming."

Harty says they are in the process of establishing a fund in the name of Sandra Hemby at First Midwest Bank of Puxico by Friday.

"This just shows you anything can happen at any time," said Harty. "Don't forget to tell people you love them."

Meanwhile, Gov. Nixon says he estimates damage to top $100 million. He tells Heartland News he has spoken with President Obama who also pledges his help.

In Oak Ridge, Governor Nixon met with officials at the high school. Gov. Nixon says he expects damage assessment teams from FEMA to move into southeast Missouri by the end of the week.

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