Assessment teams from both the St. Louis and Kansas City offices of the National Weather Service have been surveying high wind and tornado damage from Monday night’s storms.
Forecasters in Kansas City say between five and seven tornadoes touched down in the region, with the most severe being what’s preliminarily classified as an EF-3 twister in Oak Grove.
Meteorologist Julie Adolphson says the event is one of the biggest she can remember. “I would classify this as, in the last ten years, this is probably our biggest day” said Adolphson. Between 6 p.m. and midnight Monday, the Kansas City office issued 40 warnings, of which 30 were verified the have included events such as damage or hail.
Reports from first responders, spotters and the public included rolled over semi-trucks, roofs flying off homes and transformers blowing off snapped power poles. Adolphson says as many as 500 homes could be damaged from the Oak Grove tornado.
“There’s also around 10 commercial structures that were damaged. We’ve heard reports of up to 12 injuries. Three people were taken to hospitals, although we haven’t heard that these injuries are serious.”
The damage across the Kansas City region was caused by both more powerful super-cell tornadoes and less organized spin-up twisters.
Preliminary observations from the eastern portion of the state show one EF-1 rated tornado in Wentzville with winds speeds up to 90 miles-per-hour. Meteorologist Doug Tilly with the National Weather Service in St. Louis says wind played a major role in the Monday night event.
“The problem is that with the type of storm that came through last night, the straight line winds can be just as damaging, if not more so, than any tornadoes that spin up” said Tilly. “We have at least one observed wind speed of 70-75 miles-per-hour.”
Crews are also planning to assess damage in the northeastern Missouri town of Shelbina, where a high school was hit.
Governor Eric Greitens has declared a State of Emergency in Missouri. He visited first responders, volunteers and victims in Oak Grove Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier report by Brian Hauswirth
The National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill says assessment teams will survey tornado damage near western Missouri’s Oak Grove, Smithville and Carrollton on Tuesday.
There were numerous tornado warnings across Missouri on Monday evening, including reports of damage and hail. There are no reports of fatalities, at this time.
The National Weather Service says at one point, about 100,000 customers were without power in the Kansas City area.
The Weather Service tweeted Monday night that a tornado was on the ground near Oak Grove, a small town east of Kansas City that sits on I-70. The Weather Service tweeted that there were confirmed tornadoes in Oak Grove and Bates City.
The “Kansas City Star” reports Oak Grove School officials have canceled Tuesday classes because of power outages and damage.
State Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R-Carrollton) told Missourinet Monday evening that several buildings sustained damage in Richmond, which is in western Missouri’s Ray County.
“Lots of power lines down. Many folks saying it was a tornado. Nothing confirmed on that,” McGaugh told Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth.
Missourinet Marshall affiliate KMMO reports power lines were down Monday night in Carrollton, which is just north of the Missouri River in northwest Missouri.
The National Weather Service also tweeted Monday night that there was “significant damage” from a tornado that touched down in northern Missouri’s Mercer County, with damage to houses and mobile homes.
Tornado sirens in mid-Missouri’s Boone County halted Monday night’s Columbia City Council meeting, according to television station KMIZ Channel 17. Everyone in the room went to the basement to wait out the storm.
KMIZ reports the Columbia City Council decided to move discussions of a unified development code to Saturday afternoon at 1.