Three deaths in Missouri as tornado strikes state capital

A tornado forming near Okemah

A tornado forming near Okemah

One tornado skirted just a few miles north of Joplin, Missouri, on the eighth anniversary of a catastrophic tornado that killed 161 people in the city.

"It's a chaotic situation right now", Jefferson City Police Lt David Williams told reporters. Hospitals reported treating injuries such as cuts and bruises. About 20 people were rescued by emergency personnel, and although there were no reports of missing people, authorities planned door-to-door checks Thursday, he said.

But Jefferson City wasn't the only Missouri city to get hit. He figured that 98 per cent of the approximately 750 vehicles on the lot were damaged. University spokeswoman Misty Young told the Jefferson City News-Tribune that the home, built 103 years ago, was so badly damaged it appeared to be uninhabitable. "We're doing okay but praying for those that were caught in damage, some are still trapped - local emergency crews are on site and assisting", posted Missouri Governor Mike Parson on social media. Three deaths were reported in Golden City, roughly 150 miles southwest. "We are trying to identify the people that need our help the most".

Winds reached an estimated 160 miles per hour and the storm's start time was 11:40 pm, reports KMBC News 9, citing the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

This is the latest severe weather that has hit parts of the Midwest and Plains, causing serious flooding and other issues.

"I just woke up to a nightmare sound, like a train coming up the street", he said.

Austin Thomson, 25, was in the laundry room of his complex of two-story apartment buildings to do his wash and noticed the wind started picking up. The windows broke and he dove behind the washers and dryers.

"Major tornadoes across the state tonight, including Jeff City", Gov. Parson tweeted.

Another natural disaster could be imminent in Jefferson City.

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Violent storms tore through the central United States this week, devastating parts of Missouri and Oklahoma, which were hit by dozens of tornadoes and flooding. The region has already endured days of torrential rain and flooding.

The extent of that damage became apparent as the sun rose Thursday morning, revealing scenes like the one above, where a gas station awning had collapsed. Earlier reports suggested several people in Eldon were hurt. Police Chief Delmar Haase said almost three dozen homes had significant damage and several people sustained minor injuries.

A tornado in Carl Junction, Mo., on May 22, 2019.

Gusty wind, hail and potential tornadoes were forecast Saturday across the Southeast.

More rain is likely through the weekend from western Texas through IL, according to weather service meteorologist Matt Mosier with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. On Facebook, Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, warned the town's 600 residents: "If the dam breaks, it will be catastrophic!"

The storm travelled east as it went through the Golden City area, and a one-mile radius of the MFA Fertilizer plan, in the line of the storm, was evacuated, Lueckenhoff says.

The Interstate 40 bridge and another span over the river were closed as a precaution.

Still, the Interstate 40 bridge and a state highway bridge remain closed over the Arkansas River at Webbers Falls as a precaution, according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

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