The Latest: Injuries reported in town of Eldon, Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on severe weather moving across the central United States (all times local):
A local emergency management official says a few people sustained injuries from a tornado in a town southwest of the Missouri capital of Jefferson City.
Miller County Emergency Management Director Mike Rayhart said Thursday that several of the injuries in Eldon were serious enough to send people to the hospital but he did not have more specifics.
Eldon has about 4,900 residents and is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Jefferson City. The National Weather Service said it was the same storm that hit Jefferson City, though it’s not clear whether it was the same tornado.
Rayhart said the tornado skipped through Eldon, damaged the business district and “tore up several neighborhoods.”
Rayhart said two shelters in Eldon are housing between 60 and 70 people.
Jefferson City hospitals report treating 19 people after a tornado hit the city overnight.
Jessica Royston, a spokeswoman for SSM St. Mary’s Hospital, said seven people with minor injuries were treated there.
About 12 people suffering minor to moderate injuries such as cuts and bruises were treated at Capital Regional Medical Center.
Spokeswoman Lindsay Huhman says only one person was admitted.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says an elderly couple and another woman were killed when a powerful storm destroyed their homes in southwest Missouri.
Patrol spokesman Sgt. John Lueckenhoff said the bodies of 86-year-old Kenneth Harris and his 83-year-old wife, Opal, were found about 200 yards from their home outside Golden City Wednesday night.
And 56-year-old Betty Berg died and her husband, Mark, was seriously injured when their mobile home was destroyed just west of Golden City.
The storm also ripped a roof off a fertilizer plant in the area, prompting a precautionary evacuation of 1-mile radius because of a possible chemical leak.
Lueckenhoff said Golden City itself had power lines and trees down but no serious injuries. The town is about 43 miles (69.2 kilometers) northeast of Joplin.
Damage from a tornado that struck Jefferson City overnight was concentrated in a 3-mile square area in the southern part of the city.
Jefferson City Police Lt David Williams said there are no reports of missing people in the city, but authorities will be making door-to-door checks Thursday.
Williams said no deaths were reported in Jefferson City from the storm that hit the state’s capital shortly before midnight on Wednesday. About 20 people have been rescued.
The storm damaged the roof of a state labor department building but the Capitol and governor’s mansion were not damaged.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson surveyed the hardest hit areas in Jefferson City on Thursday and called the damage “devastating.”
Flood warnings remain in effect for much of Oklahoma, though forecasters said many rivers have crested and water levels were beginning to drop.
More than 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain has fallen since Sunday in parts of Oklahoma after an already rainy spring.
Near Crescent, about 34 miles (55 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City, erosion left several homes hanging over the swollen Cimarron River. One unoccupied home rolled into the river, and authorities said others could collapse.
In Arkansas, forecasters issued flood warnings along the Arkansas River because of the expected rush of water coming from Oklahoma.
Gov. Mike Parson says storms that slammed Missouri overnight left devastation across much of the state and it was fortunate that only three fatalities have been reported.
Parson said as of early Thursday authorities are not aware of any other people missing but noted that could change as daylight arrives.
The governor credited the low fatality count to the work of numerous safety and law enforcement agencies for warning people across the state about the impending storms.
The three fatalities were reported near Golden City in southwest Missouri.
Authorities say a pair of barges that broke loose on the swollen Arkansas River in Oklahoma and threatened to crash into a dam are now stuck on rocks.
The news Thursday morning comes as a relief in the small town of Webbers Falls, where emergency officials had warned of “catastrophic” flooding if the barges struck the dam. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the barges are still tied together, and crews are working to secure them.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says the Interstate 40 bridge and a state highway bridge remain closed over the Arkansas River at Webbers Falls as a precaution.
Over Memorial Day weekend in 2002, a barge struck the Interstate 40 bridge pier at Webbers Falls, causing part of the bridge to collapse into the Arkansas River. Fourteen people died after their vehicles plunged into the water.
A tornado has caused heavy damage in Missouri’s capital city as severe weather swept across the state overnight, causing three deaths and trapping dozens of people in the wreckage of their homes.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the large and destructive tornado moved over Jefferson City shortly before midnight on Wednesday.
Gov. Mike Parson said three people died. Missouri Public Safety said they were killed in the Golden City area of Barton County. The governor is praising first responders who have worked through the night to free people from homes that have been ripped apart in the storm.
Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams says no deaths were reported in the capital, but 20 people have been rescued by emergency personnel.