Gov. Nixon tours storm damage with Anthony Tumminia in Sunset Hills. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Violent thunderstorms which spawned at least three tornadoes ripped through southern, south-central and eastern Missouri New Year’s Eve, killing four.

The initial death count stood at three. A person injured Friday evening died of those injuries on Saturday. Two died in Dent County. Two others died in Phelps County.

A tornado that struck northwest Arkansas and killed three in that state moved into southern Missouri, damaging homes in Branson and destroying docks on Table Rock Lake. The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in the Fort Leonard Wood area, one of three confirmed by NWS. The service expects more tornadoes to be confirmed. The path of destruction ran roughly along Interstate 44. It roared into the St. Louis area, causing much destruction, but no loss of life.

Governor Nixon, who declared a state of emergency for the areas affected, visited both Sunset Hills in south St. Louis County and Rolla. The declaration has activated state resources in the recovery effort. It also triggers a formal request to the federal government for assistance in recovery.

AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Gov. Nixon about storm damage [6:30 MP3]