Tornado, thunderstorm leave trail of damage in mid-Missouri

4 years 3 days 10 hours ago Thursday, July 07 2016 Jul 7, 2016 Thursday, July 07, 2016 8:55:00 AM CDT July 07, 2016 in News
By: Taylor Stevens and Lauren Petterson, KOMU 8 Digital Producers, and Khaki Martin, KOMU 8 Reporter
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BOONE COUNTY - A likely tornado and thunderstorm combination hit mid-Missouri Thursday morning, uprooting trees and downing power lines in the area.

The storm left multiple counties without power in mid-Missouri. Randolph County officials said 66 percent of the county was without power Thursday morning. In Moberly, City Hall and surrounding buildings were without power as of 10 a.m.

"Trees have been uprooted all over town, limbs all over the streets, power lines down," Moberly resident Mardell Rippel told KOMU 8 News on Facebook. Rippel said her house had been without power for two hours as of 8:30 a.m.

Another Moberly resident, Jessica Emmert, said the wind caused a tree branch to fall on her house.

"We woke up to water in the laundry room, but can't fix the hole until Ameren gets here because the tree is on a power line." Emmert said. She said Ameren told her it could take all day for some customers to get power back.

A tornado touched ground near Harrisburg during the storm, according to the National Weather Service.

Moberly officials said crews started cleaning up damage Thursday morning in response to several reports of trees down.

The wind damaged trees, power lines and houses in Hallsville, Centralia and Holts Summit, among other places.

"Wind took almost every tree in our yard, grown and new. A total of seven split and snapped," Darla Clifton Mcdonnell told KOMU 8 News. "Took panels out of our canopy on the deck."

A section of a large tree fell onto a house in Auxvasse, according to Lt. Clay Chism. He said no one was injured. 

Salisbury resident Sabrina Leslie told KOMU a tree in her neighbor's yard fell onto her house and smashed her car port.

Chism said there is significant damage to utility poles adjacent to Highway 54 near Kingdom City. Several poles are down near North Callaway High School, where Ameren is assessing the damage and starting repairs.

On Old Highway 124, a KOMU 8 reporter observed a trailer that had overturned, crushing the car next to it. 

In Centralia, tree debris scattered the streets, and some residents suffered from potentially thousands of dollars of damage. On Jenkins Street, a tree crashed into the attic of a home. Owner Russ Holland said he think he may have to pay more than $5,000 in material damages. Holland said he feels lukcy that his three sons, ages 9, 13, and 15, were unharmed. 

One resident in Centralia said she was concerned that the tornado sirens did not go off, so residents had no warming of the storm this morning, and thus no time to prepare.

Director of Boone County Emergency Management Terry Cassil said no sirens sounded because it was not a tornado. 

“We set the sirens off, or joint communications sets the sirens off, when we receive a report from the national weather service about a tornado warning. That did not happen. It was just a severe weather warning, so we wouldn’t set the sirens off for that," Cassil said. 

KOMU 8 has independently confirmed the tornado with the National Weather Service. 

 (Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include additional viewer photos and comments.)

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