/Violent EF-3 tornado strikes Jefferson City leaving extensive damage behind
Violent EF-3 tornado strikes Jefferson City leaving extensive damage behind

Violent EF-3 tornado strikes Jefferson City leaving extensive damage behind

‘Violent’ EF-3 tornado strikes Jefferson City leaving extensive damage behind

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV/AP/CNN) — 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.
APTOPIX Severe Weather
A car is trapped under the fallen metal roof of the Break Time gas station and convenience store in tornado-hit Jefferson City, MO., Thursday, May 23, 2019. The National Weather Service has confirmed a large and destructive tornado has touched down in Missouri’s state capital, causing heavy damage and trapping multiple people in the wreckage of their homes. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

The service reported that a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was observed over Jefferson City at 11:43 p.m. Wednesday, moving northeast at 40 mph. The capital city has a population of about 40,000 and is located about 130 miles west of St. Louis.

The National Weather Service rated a portion of the path of the tornadoas an EF-3, but further surveying is being conducted Thursday.

WATCH: Lightning illuminates sky, showing massive Jefferson City tornado

“Across the state, Missouri’s first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Governor Mike Parson said. “I want our responders and all the neighbors who acted selflessly to help their neighbors to know how much their heroic efforts are appreciated by all Missourians.”

Missouri Public Safety said the three were killed in the Golden City area of Barton County, near Missouri’s southwest corner, as the severe weather moved in from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water. The tornado hit during a week that has seen several days of tornadoes and torrential rains in parts of the Southern Plains and Midwest.

[WATCH: Raw Skyzoom4 video shows scope of Jefferson City damage]

The damage spanned about a 3-mile area in the state capital, Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams said. About 20 people were rescued by emergency personnel, and although there were no reports of missing people, authorities planned to make door-to-door checks on Thursday, he said.

[READ: A trucker was on the side of the road when Jeff City tornado hit. It blew a house underneath his trailer]

The weather service reported that a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was observed over Jefferson City at 11:43 p.m. Wednesday, moving northeast at 40 mph (64 kph). The capital city has a population of about 40,000 and is located about 130 miles (209 kilometers) west of St. Louis.

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

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 centers in case the need arises. Around 5:40 a.m. Thursday, the Missouri Department of Public Safety said they have confirmed nine patients at area hospitals due to storm-related injuries.

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

Power outages were reported in parts of the city.

Early Thursday morning, Gov. Parson said that non-essential state employees who work in Jefferson City should not report to work.

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 started picking 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 story now. Every building there is two stories.”

Severe Weather Missouri
This still image taken from video provided by Chris Higgins shows a tornado, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Carl Junction, Mo. The tornado caused some damage in the town of Carl Junction, about 4 miles (6.44 kilometers) north of the Joplin airport. (Chris Higgins via AP)

“I felt like an earthquake”

As many were sleeping late Wednesday night, Missouri’s capital took a direct hit from a tornado — one of many bringing chaos to the central United States.

“When it hit… it felt like an earthquake,” Cindy Sandoval-Jakobsen said.

The Jefferson City resident said she took her daughter, who is blind, and the two hid in the only room in their house with no windows.

The “Wedge Tornado,” one that is wider in the funnel than it is tall, was observed over Jefferson City shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. It moved at 40 mph and sent debris 13,000 feet into the air, according to the National Weather Service.

However, no deaths have been reported in the city as of Thursday morning, Jefferson City police Lt. David Williams said at a news conference according to CNN affiliate KRCG.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons said on Twitter that Jefferson City’s tornado was one of many bringing chaos throughout the state.

“Major tornadoes across the state tonight, including Jeff City. We’re doing okay but praying for those that were caught in damage, some are still trapped – local emergency crews are on site and assisting,” Parsons tweeted.

The tornadoes are part of a deadly spring storm system that has unleashed drenching rain, flash flooding and hail in the central US — along with more than 130 reports of tornadoes in five days.

Tornadoes across the state

More than 150 miles southwest of Jefferson City, three people died Wednesday night in Golden City, Missouri, and several others in Carl Junction were injured, according to the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency.

Search and rescue missions were launched in Golden City after a possible tornado, according to Missouri State Emergency Management spokesman Ron Walker.

Jeff City damage
Damage seen caused by a tornado in Jefferson City, Missouri on Wednesday night. (Credit: Missouri Department of Public Safety / Twitter)

Another of the tornadoes was near Joplin, on the eighth anniversary of an EF5 tornado that killed 161 people in that city.

The National Weather Service said a damaging tornado was spotted and tennis ball-sized hail was possible.

According to radar images, the twister passed a few miles north of Joplin.

A husband and wife in Missouri were killed Tuesday when their SUV skidded across the center lines of US Highway 160 and the vehicle struck a semi.

Tornado spotted in Illinois

As the storms moved east, the heavy winds hit Illinois and one resident spotted a tornado touch ground off Highway 50

Flooding in Tulsa

Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are going through neighborhoods near a dam encouraging residents to get out of there in case of the area floods due to the release of water meant to keep the structure from failing.

The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 215,000 cubic feet of water per second at the dam at Keystone Lake because the water is 29 feet above its normal level.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum tweeted that 215,000 cfs is the minimum rate they can release to keep the water in the reservoir from topping the floodgates. If the floodgates don’t work, the dam could fail, Bynum said.

While that dam is about 20 miles from the city, Tulsa authorities were telling people to be ready to leave their homes quickly if the situation deteriorates.

“If you live an area along a river, creek or stream, we ask that you prepare now in case you are asked to evacuate. Have a GO KIT ready — clothes, medication, important documentation, baby supplies. Charge your digital devices now,” the city tweeted.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV/AP/CNN) — 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.

‘Violent’ tornado strikes Jefferson City, Missouri, as storms kill 3 and cause extensive damage statewide – Fox News

A “violent tornado” tore through Missouri’s capital city late Wednesday, causing extensive damage under the cover of darkness on a day in which severe weather statewide was blamed for three deaths and dozens of people left trapped inside their homes.

The National Weather Service issued a “Tornado Emergency” for the Jefferson City area shortly before midnight as the violent twister moved through the area at about 40 mph.

“This is a life threatening situation,” the NWS said. “Seek shelter now!”

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

The large and destructive tornado bore down on Jefferson City, Missouri shortly before midnight.

The large and destructive tornado bore down on Jefferson City, Missouri shortly before midnight. (Fox News)

“It’s one thing to see tornado video from areas that don’t have a big population, but because areas like Jefferson City have been hit hard, that affects a tremendous amount of people,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said on “FOX & friends “The video coming out there is just catastrophic, unfortunately.”

10 DEADLIEST US TORNADOES ON RECORD

A three-mile square area received the brunt of the storm’s destruction, Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams said during a Thursday morning news conference.

Extensive damage was reported in Jefferson City, Missouri after a

Extensive damage was reported in Jefferson City, Missouri after a “violent tornado” tore through the city late Wednesday. (Missouri Department of Public Safety)

“It was a very chaotic and very, very bad situation early this morning, late last night,” Williams said.

Damage after a tornado struck Jefferson City, Missouri late Wednesday.

Damage after a tornado struck Jefferson City, Missouri late Wednesday. (Matt Finn/Fox News)

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. Authorities were discouraging people from beginning clean-up efforts until power is safely restored. Area hospitals set up command centers in case the need arises.

Damage in Jefferson City, Missouri after a

Damage in Jefferson City, Missouri after a “large and destructive tornado” was reported shortly before midnight. (Matt Finn/Fox News)

The lieutenant added authorities were in the process of going “door-to-door” as daylight breaks and search and rescue efforts ramp up.

Williams said no deaths were reported in the capital so far, but 20 people were rescued by emergency personnel

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

Austin Thomson told the Associated Press he was in the laundry room of his complex of two-story apartment buildings to do his wash and noticed the wind started picking 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, the 25-year-old  walked outside to check the damage, and retrieved a stuffed animal for his daughter from his damaged apartment.

Damage to a vehicle after a tornado ripped through Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday.

Damage to a vehicle after a tornado ripped through Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday. (Matt Finn/Fox News)

“There’s basically one building that’s basically one story now,” he said.

The sign for the Hidden Oaks apartment complex in Jefferson City Missouri stands bent after a violent tornado touched down.

The sign for the Hidden Oaks apartment complex in Jefferson City Missouri stands bent after a violent tornado touched down. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

Jefferson City lies near the center of the state, about 158 miles east of Kansas City and about 132 miles west of St. Louis. The city has a population of about 40,000.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety the State Emergency Operations Center confirmed nine patients were admitted at Jefferson City hospitals due to storm-related injuries.

The MDPS reported extensive damage along Ellis Boulevard near Highway 54 and warned of downed power lines. Authorities warned residents all downed lines should be considered live and advised that people stay away from areas that have experienced heavy damage.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tweeted “major tornados” were reported across the state.

“We’re doing okay but praying for those that were caught in damage, some are still trapped – local emergency crews are on site and assisting,” Parson wrote on Twitter.

The governor added later that, due to damage to state buildings and power failures, he was advising non-essential state employees to stay home Thursday.

“Across the state, Missouri’s first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Parson said Thursday morning.

DOZENS OF TORNADOS SLAM MIDWEST AS FLOODWATERS RISE; AT LEAST 2 DEAD

The twister that struck Jefferson City was one of several tornadoes to hit Missouri overnight. There were at least two dozen reports of tornadoes throughout the region, according to dean.

There have been at least two dozen reports of tornadoes by Thursday morning.

There have been at least two dozen reports of tornadoes by Thursday morning. (Fox News)

“The problem is, the tornadoes came when people were sleeping,” Dean said on “FOX & friends. “And that’s why we tell people to have their NOAA weather radios on. If the electricity goes out, people are sleeping, at least you will have a way of knowing if there’s a tornado warning in your area.”

The three deaths reported so far came in the southwest part of the state, when a large tornado struck the Golden City area of Barton County.

This still image taken from video provided by Chris Higgins shows a tornado, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Carl Junction, Mo. The tornado caused some damage in the town of Carl Junction, about 4 miles north of the Joplin airport.

This still image taken from video provided by Chris Higgins shows a tornado, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Carl Junction, Mo. The tornado caused some damage in the town of Carl Junction, about 4 miles north of the Joplin airport. (Chris Higgins via AP)

Another twister touched down a few miles outside of Joplin — exactly eight years to the day an EF-5 tornado slammed the city, killing 158 people and leaving more than 1,000 injured.

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The severe weather was expected to continue Thursday as the storms head east. Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center said that parts of the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic could see tornadoes, large hail, and strong winds.

“On the heels of damaging tornadoes overnight, a boundary stretching from the Plains through the Midwest and to the Northeast will be the focus for more severe weather today and tonight,” Dean said. “We’ll be monitoring two areas – the interior Northeast and northern Mid-Atlantic, as well as a new round of severe storms from the Texas Panhandle through western Oklahoma into Kansas.  Large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are possible across both of these regions.”

The areas at most risk for severe weather on Thursday.

The areas at most risk for severe weather on Thursday. (Fox News)

Storms and torrential rains have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. Authorities urged residents of several small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose.

Deaths from this week’s storms include a 74-year-old woman found early Wednesday morning in Iowa. Officials there say she was killed by a possible tornado that damaged a farmstead in Adair County. Missouri authorities said heavy rain was a contributing factor in the deaths of two people in a traffic accident 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 Tuesday near Perkins, about 45 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The unidentified woman’s body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office to confirm the cause of death. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said she isn’t yet listed as what would be the state’s first storm-related death.

Fox News’ Dom Calicchio and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed