Six Weeks Later - Still Picking Up from the Tornado

Six Weeks Later - Still Picking Up from the Tornado
By: Holly Brantley

Braggadocio, MO - How does a community that's not a town and has no elected leaders go about recovering from a devastating tornado? That's what faces people who live in Braggadocio.

They never needed a government. Everything went along well, until the twister. Now, longtime residents say recovery has been a community effort of pulling together. Progress is slow but steady.

But some are wondering if residents have gotten all the help they deserve.

Gary Coppage lives just yards away from a cotton gin, destroyed by the tornado. That gin had been in his family for decades. His house won't be a home again for a few more months. So, he's living in a 32 foot trailer provided by FEMA.

"They say I'm in a flood plane," said Coppage. "So, they would not give me a bigger one. It doesn't make sense to me. Everybody else is getting them, yet I'm the one in the flood plane?"

Caleb Davis understands, "To his south, east, and west, there are three full-sized trailers."

Davis says Braggadocio has had wonderful help from volunteers of other agencies. But, he feels FEMA has been disorganized at best. "I would like to see them prioritize who has the greatest need and asertain who those people are," said Davis.

"They tried to give us a trailer," said Bill Pearson. "But we didn't take it."

Pearson has been living in a camper trailer since the tornado hit. Now, he's moving in a trailer of his own. FEMA offered him temporary housing, but he decided to pass up the offer. He says someone else needs it more than he does.

"I don't know if they will get it or not," said Pearson. "I hope they do."

Folks in Braggadocio say despite having no mayor, or even a police officer, they are a close knit community and they plan to stay that way.

Residents want to let all of the volunteers know how much they appreciate everything that's been done for them.