The GLEN ALLEN, Missouri — At least five people were killed and hundreds of buildings were damaged when a large tornado ripped through southeastern Missouri before dawn on Wednesday. Residents across a large swath of the Midwest and South were keeping a wary eye on the sky for additional storms that could produce additional twisters and hail.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Clark Parrott, the tornado touched down around 3:30 a.m. and moved through a rural area of Bollinger County located roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of St. Louis.
Homes were splintered into a million pieces and trees were uprooted. One structure was completely overturned. Rescue workers could be seen on drone footage peering through the rubble with flashlights.
Parrott said that more than 20 organizations helped in the search for survivors and victims and that they often had to use chainsaws to clear away vegetation in order to get to people’s homes. “The extent of the damage is significant. It’s so painful to witness, “As Parrott put it.
For Around 15 Minutes, The Tornado Did Not Lift Off The Ground
Paducah, Kentucky, National Weather Service meteorologist Justin Gibbs estimated the tornado’s path at 15–20 miles and said it was on the ground for about 15 minutes (24-32 kilometers).
Gibbs said it’s obvious that the tornado hit Bollinger County, though a weather service team was on its way there to learn more “This thing was enormous. A major tornado had struck.”
He pointed out that the fact that the tornado struck so early in the morning made it all the more dangerous. With regards to the warning, “It’s definitely a nightmare,” Gibbs said. “It’s terrible at 3:30 in the morning,” he said.
Bollinger County’s public administrator, Larry Welker, said the twister hit the small town of Glen Allen (population: 100 or so) along Route 34, but he hasn’t been able to see the damage for himself because of police restrictions.
I’ve heard it was pretty terrible,” he said. He said it was a rural region where most people were involved in agriculture, logging, or the construction industry.
Several trailers were present, and from what I’ve heard, some people are still missing, as stated by Welker. After 32 people were killed by tornadoes in the South and Midwest, the recovery process has begun.
Tornado With EF-2 Intensity Strikes Southeast Missouri, Killing At Least 5 People
Missouri’s Bollinger County On the morning of Wednesday, April 3, a deadly tornado tore through southeast Missouri.
Missouri State Highway Patrol reported shortly after 7:30 a.m. that multiple agencies were assisting with search and recovery operations in the Glenallen area. The distance from here to St. Louis is roughly two hours.
At least five deaths and multiple injuries were confirmed by MSHP due to the tornado, but the agency did not provide any additional information about the victims.
The National Weather Service sent a survey team, and they discovered what they called “high-end EF-2 damage” in the Glenallen area. It was estimated that the tornado’s highest wind speeds reached 130 miles per hour.
The Herculaneum Fire Department posted on Facebook early Wednesday morning that the Urban Search and Rescue team was getting ready to head to southeast Missouri to help with the aftermath of the tornado.
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Overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, the St. Louis area was hit by widespread thunderstorms. Large hail and damaging 70 mph winds were possible in some of those storms. This morning, parts of the 5 On Your Side viewing area have been under severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
According to Helle, the worst of the damage was located about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, in the town of Bryant. Many houses had been destroyed, according to Helle, and the fire departments and other first responders were still tallying up the damage. He said the public acted responsibly by taking shelter after receiving warnings.