Severe weather swept the state yesterday and through last night. The National Weather Service in Springfield says the threat for severe weather will continue to move through the eastern side of Missouri today, but the potential for dangerous tornadoes to strike has diminished.
Meteorologist Andy Foster says damage reports continue to come in. He reminds folks to keep a close eye on weather since it can change rapidly. And he says tornadoes aren’t the only major threat, reminding residents that lightning kills dozens of people each year. Foster says rain and thunderstorms will linger throughout today and into tomorrow, but then the weather should clear for the weekend.
Reports of debris falling in Branson is said to have come from the devastating tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma … some 250 miles away. Foster says it’s possible, pointing out it’s the same band of storms that went from Moore to Branson.
No deaths or serious injuries in Missouri have been reported at this time.
Here’s a list of preliminary damage reports from throughout the state. If you have damage in your area you’d like us to add to this list, please e-mail us at [email protected]
— Preliminary reports indicate a tornado touched down last night in the Hannibal area, tearing off roofs, damaging homes, downing power lines and poles. Power outages are widespread … people are being urged to stay in their homes. The storm snapped tree limbs filling roadways with debris and the area was pelted with golf-ball sized hail. There are also reports of gas leaks. Schools are closed. Emergency officials have called in emergency crews from neighboring counties for help.
— Emergency Management officials say quarter sized hail was reported throughout the St. Louis area, in the Central Missouri town of Belle, and northeast Missouri’s Knox County. Southwest Missouri and the Ozarks was hard hit by winds 60 to 75 miles per hour, damaging homes and barns. Officials say some power lines are down but no severe damage, and trees falling on some homes and across roadways.
— In Southwest Missouri’s Barton County, winds lifted the roof partly off an 1800s building on the Lamar town square. Officials report lots of water and several limbs down.
— Joplin is sending first responders to Moore, Oklahoma, where a tornado has killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more.
— Missouri’s Task Force One team is readying supplies to send to Moore, Oklahoma, but has not yet been deployed. Task Force One is a search, rescue and recovery team that has helped in massive disasters, such as the 9-11 twin towers collapse. The team was most recently deployed to help after the Northeast was struck by Hurricane Sandy.
— Heavy rains during rush hour snarled traffic in Columbia, pushing some cars off the road and into the ditch.