A “violent tornado” was confirmed in Jefferson City, Missouri at 11.47pm local time (5.47pm BST) on Wednesday night, with residents warned “take shelter now“ by the National Weather Service (NWS). Dangerous storms have plagued Missouri and Oklahoma for three days now, with multiple reports of twisters. A tornadic thunderstorm also tracked from Ottawa County, Oklahoma, into Baxter Springs and Galena, Kansas and then into Carl Junction, Oronogo and Golden City, Missouri.
The NWS reported receiving 22 notifications of tornadoes by Wednesday evening, and one of these skirted just north of Joplin, Missouri.
The Jefferson City tornado ripped through Missouri’s capital, with reports of multiple injuries, although no confirmed numbers as of yet.
An emergency alert said the tornado was moving at a speed of 40mph and described it as “large and destructive”.
The NWS of Saint Louis said on Facebook that the tornado has “produced extensive damage”.
Read More: Oklahoma tornado: MONSTROUS twister lands in Mangum city
The Jefferson City Fire Department tweeted: “All Jefferson City Firefighters have been called back and are beginning rescue operations. Please Pray for our Citizens.”
The fire service also wrote on Facebook saying they were “actively responding to serious damage.”
First responders warned ‘flash flooding hazards will expand as rain continues’.
Authorities also confirmed that several buildings had collapsed and photos from one structure appeared to be a Sonic restaurant.
There were also local reports of a bowling alley with heavy damage and a destroyed bank.
The Missouri Public Safety Twitter account tweeted that local first responders are undertaking “door-to-door” checks on residents.
Officials warned: “Consider all power lines live. Stay out of areas with damage” adding that there is severe damage along Ellis Boulevard near Highway 54.
Officials confirmed three deaths in Golden City area of Barton County and several injuries in Carl Junction in Jasper County from the tornado that hit Joplin.
Additional rounds of severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for the central US on Thursday and Friday.
This includes a similar area to Wednesday’s storms, extending from Texas to Illinois.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said: “Because multiple storms may move repeatedly over the same locations late this week, flooding will again be a major concern.
“Some communities may receive another 3 to 6 inches of rain on top of what already fell early this week.”
This latest tornado comes on the eighth anniversary of a devastating tornado which killed 161 people and injured more than 1,000.
On May 21, 2011, the tornado tore through Joplin with winds of 200mph, creating damages of around $2.8billion (£2.22billion).
Source: Read Full Article