Tornado hits Missouri’s Jefferson City as storms and torrential rain ravage Midwest

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A “violent tornado” touched down in Jefferson City, Missouri, causing heavy damage, according to the National Weather Service, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

Key points:

  • Police said there there were no reports of fatalities in the city
  • The weather service said it had received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday, although some of those could be duplicates
  • One hospital said it had four patients with minor injuries

The service reported that a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was observed over Jefferson City at 11:43pm Wednesday (local time), moving north-east at 64 kilometres per hour. 

The capital city has a population of about 40,000 and is located about 209 kilometres west of St Louis.

Jefferson City Police Lieutenant David Williams said around 2:15am on Thursday that there were no reports of fatalities in the city but authorities had received multiple calls of people being trapped in homes. 

The sign for the Hidden Oaks apartment complex in Jefferson City Missouri stands bent by the tornado.

The tornado hit during a week that has seen several days of tornadoes and torrential rains in parts of the Southern Plains and Midwest.

“It’s a chaotic situation right now,” Lieutenant Williams said.

Lieutenant Williams spoke from the Cole County Sheriff’s office, where debris including insulation, roofing shingles and metal pieces lay on the ground outside the front doors.

Area hospitals did not see an immediate influx of patients but set up command centres in case the need arose.

“We have four patients with minor injuries,” said Jessica Royston, spokeswoman at St Mary’s Health Centre.

Power outages were reported in parts of the city. Missouri Public Safety tweeted that there was a possibility of more tornadoes and flash flooding.

Austin Thomson, 25, was in the laundry room of his apartment complex to do his wash and noticed the wind starting to pick up.

He saw sheets of rain coming down and a flagpole bend and then slam to the ground. The windows broke and he dove behind the washers and dryers.

After it calmed down, he walked outside to check the damage.

“There’s basically one building that’s basically one storey now. Every building there is two storeys,” he said.

A powerline is down in front  of a ruined building in tornado-hit Jefferson City.

74yo woman killed by possible tornado

The National Weather Service said it had received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday, although some of those could be duplicate reporting of the same twister.


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Storms and torrential rains have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

The Arkansas River was approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi Rivers were again rising after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of tornadoes. Forecasters predicted parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more severe weather on Thursday.

Deaths from this week’s storms include a 74-year-old woman found early on Wednesday morning in Iowa. Officials there say she was killed by a possible tornado that damaged a farmstead in Adair County. 

This image posted on Twitter account of Stechshultsy shows tornado-hit Jefferson City.

Missouri authorities said heavy rain was a contributing factor in the deaths of two people in a traffic accident on Tuesday near Springfield.

A fourth weather-related death may have occurred in Oklahoma, where the Highway Patrol said a woman apparently drowned after driving around a barricade on Tuesday near Perkins, about 72 kilometres north-east of Oklahoma City.