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A "Wedge" Tornado in Missouri Tore Buildings Apart: "We Used to Have a Balcony"

Three people died in another tornado that hit the state.

by Emma Ockerman
May 23 2019, 4:54pm

A so-called “wedge” tornado that slammed Missouri’s capital city was wider than it was tall and sent debris flying 13,000 feet in the air, according to CNN.

But that was just one tornado to hit the state Wednesday night, when three people were killed and dozens of others injured.

Another tornado also hit near Barton County, a three-hour drive from Jefferson City, the capital. One 56-year-old woman was killed when the tornado struck her manufactured home, according to KODE-TV, while her husband was severely injured. An 86-year-old man and a 83-year-old woman also died.

Several people were also injured in nearby Jasper County.

The wedge tornado, which was first seen over Jefferson City around 11:30 p.m., primarily walloped a three-square-mile area on the southern edge of town. A large apartment complex was damaged and the roofs of several local school buildings were destroyed, according to NPR. Trees were uprooted and thrown across lawns; power lines were crushed. One photo showed a semi truck toppled onto its side.

At least 20 people across the city have been treated for injuries. The Red Cross has already set up several emergency shelters across the city, according to NBC affiliate KOMU.

The devastating Missouri twisters capped a week of destructive storms across the country. Wednesday was the seventh straight day of tornadoes in the U.S., according to NBC News. And other severe storms hit Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Austin Thomson, a 25-year-old living in Jefferson City, told the Associated Press he was doing his laundry when the windows in his apartment complex shattered.

“There’s basically one building that’s basically one story now. Every building there is two stories,” Thomson told the AP.

The tornado also gutted the apartment of Kayleigh De Rosa in Jefferson City. She said she’s now homeless, and shared a video of the destruction with KRCG.

“This is where we used to have a balcony,” De Rosa said, pointing her camera upwards. “Now, it’s on my mom’s car.”

“It’s bad, guys,” she said as she ended the video.

Gov. Mike Parson tweeted early Thursday morning that some people were still trapped inside their homes. Later, during a press conference, Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams warned the city was in “a very chaotic and very, very bad situation.”

Non-essential state employees are being asked to stay home Thursday as the city surveys the aftermath.

Cover image: Jessica Rodgers and a neighbor Ray Arellana carry a stroller carrying Rodgers' sister Sophia Rodgers over downed power lines as they head to Rodgers' mother's apartment to check on damage Thursday, May 23, 2019 after a tornado tore though Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)