Sunday, 19 January, 2020

'Violent' tornado rips through Missouri, fatalities feared

Damage is shown along Ellis Boulevard in Jefferson City Missouri Enlarge Image Damage is shown along Ellis Boulevard in Jefferson City Missouri. Missouri Department of Public Safety
Deanna Wagner | 25 May, 2019, 04:18

Emergency workers reported about two dozen injuries, Williams said, and around 100 of people were in shelters.

The extent of that damage became apparent as the sun rose Thursday morning, revealing scenes like the one above, where a gas station awning had collapsed.

"It sounds as if the injuries have been few, which is truly incredible considering the extent of the damage", Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin told CNN.

The map was created with data from search-and-rescue teams who went house-to-house Thursday through the impacted area.

Missouri Public Safety said they were killed in the Golden City area of Barton County.

The destruction in Missouri came as severe weather has ravaged the central United States over the past several days, unleashing twisters, drenching rain, flash flooding and hail.

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According to the National Weather Service, at least 29 tornadoes have been reported over the past 24 hours, with debris being sent as high as 13,000 feet into the air.

Kenneth Harris, 86, and his 83-year-old wife, Opal, were found dead about 200 yards (180 metres) from their home, and Betty Berg, 56, was killed and her husband, Mark, seriously injured when their mobile home was destroyed, authorities said.

Aerial photos taken of Jefferson City, Missouri, show the aftermath of a devastating tornado that slammed the city night.

Austin Thomson, 25, was in the laundry room of his complex of two-story apartment buildings to do his wash and noticed the wind started picking up.

The NWS is reporting that the tornado caused heavy damage to certain areas.

Violent storms tore through the central U.S. this week, devastating parts of Missouri and Oklahoma, which were hit by dozens of tornadoes and flooding. The Wichita branch of the weather service warns that a few tornadoes are possible, scattered hail may be up to the size of a lime and wind gusts may blow up to 70 miles per hour. Two barges broke loose on the river and threatened to collide with a dam, officials said, prompting calls for a mandatory evacuation in Webbers Falls. Burchfield said it was on the ground for 12 miles. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said she isn't yet listed as what would be the state's first storm-related death. A posting on the official Facebook page of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, said the runaway barges posed a dire threat to the river town's 600 residents: "Evacuate Webbers Falls immediately".