In the days following the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms that hit Missouri earlier this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency jumped into action, setting up a statewide command center in an empty warehouse in Rocheport, in mid-Missouri. Tom Costello, a Federal Coordinating Officer with FEMA, says about half the agency’s approximately 150 people deployed to Missouri in the wake of the storms are operating out of an
abandoned furniture warehouse store. Costello says within about 72 hours the building had been turned into the operations headquarters for the state. FEMA agents, working with State Emergency Management officials on the ground throughout the damaged areas, are coordinating efforts at headquarters. Costello says that while there is no fixed time to wrap up operations, he expects officials will start to see a winding down of activity, with eventual withdrawl from the building in about six to eight weeks.