sixteen people are confirmed dead in a series of tornadoes in Missouri. Property damage in several cities is described as extensive – as the Mayor of Pierce City told Springfield television station KYTV, “something knocked the bejesus out of downtown.” Pierce City is in southwest Missouri – Lawrence County – where one fatality has been confirmed and more deaths are feared. Searchers are going through the rubble of the armory, where several people had sought refuge from the storm. Authorities in Stockton reportedly have sealed off the town to keep rubber-neckers out. A tornado is reported to have cause heavy damage in the downtown area. The Mayor of Stockton describes the area as looking like a “war zone.” The school superintednent in Stockton says every school building in town has been damaged. Heavy damage also reported in Battlefield and Republic, near Springfield. In Liberty, local officials have declared a state of emergency and we have reports police are patrolling with shotgunst here to discourage looting. William Jewell College in Liberty is reported to have some damage. The National Weather Service has reports of tornadoes spotted in Pettis, Johnson, Jackson, Cass, Clay, and Platte Counties in addition to the counties in southwest Missouri. The National Guard has been activated in several places.
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