Tornado-Stricken Caruthersville Getting Assistance from Cape Girardeau

APRIL 10, 2006 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CST

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO - The Bootheel community devastated by a tornado is getting clean-up help from a larger neighbor to the north.

A 17-member public works crew from Cape Girardeau headed for Caruthersville over the weekend with five dump trucks, two backhoes and other heavy equipment.

Caruthersville suffered massive damage when a tornado struck April 2.  Officials estimate that 60 percent of buildings in the southern portion of the city of 6,500 people were damaged or destroyed.

Cape Girardeau public works director Tim Gramling says the damage is even worse than pictures could show.  Crews from his department will take turns working ten-hour shifts to clear streets of debris.  They'll be on the job in Caruthersville for at least a week.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)