Two are confirmed dead in Southeast and Southwest Missouri from last night’s storms.
Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in the storm stricken areas, including Branson, Buffalo, Cassville, Lebanon and Oak Ridge.
“Personnel at the State Emergency Management Agency have been communicating with local law enforcement and emergency responders and tracking the storms as they moved across Missouri,” Nixon says. He is visiting areas impacted by the storm.
Shelters have been set up in Branson, Buffalo, Kimberling City and Lebanon. Shelter information, weather and emergency updates are available online at www.mo.gov. The 211 hotline has also been activated for residents to access disaster information, shelter information or referrals. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, call 800-427-4626.
The Department of Public safety says, “We’re all very busy right now” as clean-up and search and rescue efforts continue. Missouri did not suffer the worst of the system, which has resulted in at least 11 deaths in Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana.
Dallas County Emergency Management Director Jason Wendlandt says crews found everyone that had been reported missing from a mobile home park off Old 65 and Highway F, where one person was reported to have died. Buffalo is without power.
Officials in Branson don’t know if it was a tornado or straight line winds, but they do know there’s considerable damage along the strip. Branson Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson says a lot of glass is scattered in the downtown area, and there is damage to the convention center as well. No major injuries were reported, but about two dozen people sought treatment at Skaggs Regional Medical Center. He says some folks were trapped in their homes, but have gotten out safely. There are reports of widespread damage in Stone and Taney counties. The power is out and schools are closed in Branson.
Another death was reported in Barry County’s Cassville. Officials say the storm hit near Business Highway 37 north of Cassville shortly after midnight, striking a mobile home park. Several homes have been damaged or destroyed. Glenn Douglas Keeler, 70, was killed — authorities say his body was found some distance away from the trailer. Four others were injured.
The Missouri Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is assisting local emergency management agencies in surveying damage from last night’s deadly storms in the south central and southwestern parts of the state.
Two Missouri Wing aircraft were launched this morning in support of Stone County EMA (Branson area) and Laclede County EMA (Lebanon area).