The St. Louis airport sustained significant damage, especially Concourse C which remains closed. The tornado that struck the airport traveled across Highway I-170 (a connecting highway between Interstate 70 and Interstate 64) and then moved for several blocks through the suburban community of Berkeley.
The news coverage of the damage was extensive, but to see the devastation first-hand is something else again. Last week, a team of 20 Monsanto people joined teams from two other St. Louis companies and helped with the cleanup in the Berkeley community.
The assignment: help clear downed trees and uprooted bushes from three homes. Professionals cut the trunks and branches of the big trees, and the team moved the pieces to the street for pickup and disposal. Roofing shingles, siding, pieces of collapsed walls and other debris also needed to be removed from the properties. The project was coordinated by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. The volunteers were supervised by a managed from AmeriCorps and the Department of Public Works of the City of Berkeley.
As the team worked, they could see the full extent of the damage: roofs hurled blocks from the houses they had covered, collapsed buildings, blue tarps serving as temporary roof repair, large old trees snapped like balsa wood. And not one person was seriously injured.
Asked why the Monsanto people were helping, one participant summarized it this way: “It’s our community, too.” (Click on the picture below to see a short video).