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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Severe Storms Rake Kansas City MetroRegion: Tornadoes Hit Harveyville KS and Branson MO - At Least One Dead in Southern Missouri

A tornado reportedly struck the small southeastern Wabunsee County KS town of Harveyville around 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Harveyville contains four less than 240 people- according to the 2010 census- and it is located about 30 miles southwest of Topeka.

A tornado watch was in effect for the area at the time the tornado struck.

Initial reports from the National Weather Service was that there was "heavy structural damage to homes and (a) church building" and "reports of people trapped in structures."

A story early Wednesday morning from The EMPORIA (KS) GAZETTE's John Giffin said there were "ten minor injuries" with "two" people flown by medical helicopters to a Topeka hospital. 

Mr. Giffin also said "40 to 60 percent" of Harveyville was damaged with "the church completely leveled."

 According to an earlier story in the TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL- "Dave Sterbenz, director of Shawnee County Emergency Management, shortly after 11 p.m. confirmed via phone from the scene there were nine injuries — one person who was in critical condition and eight who suffered minor injuries. He said the person in critical condition was still trapped within a structure."

At 10:43 p.m.- the NWS reported "two mobile homes" were blown over "3 (miles) east of Weatherby in Daviess" county MO- about 70 miles northeast of Kansas City MO..

The NWS report said "two trapped" there- apparently in one or both of the mobile homes.

At 11:14 p.m.- a possible tornado was reported in or near the southwestern Missouri city of Lamar.

Trees and power lines were reported down in that city about 25 miles north-northeast of Joplin.

Barton County authorities are reporting "three buildings destoyed" near Lamar according to KODE TV-12 in Joplin- but no reports of injuries in that report just after midnight Wednesday morning..

Power was reported out to more than 8000 people in the southeastern Kansas city of Pittsburg.

A roof of a motel there was reportedly "severely damaged-" according to a reporter from The PITTSBURG (KS) MORNING SUN.

A house was reportedly severely damaged by high winds or a tornado near Gouda Springs and four people are reported to be injured- one seriously and three with minor injuries according to KODE-TV 12 when three mobiles homes were blown over in Labette county KS..

It's not yet known if that damage was caused by straight-line winds or a tornado.

At 12:05 p.m.- the National Weather Service passed on the report of a possible tornado 2 miles southwest of Buffalo in the form of "houses destroyed and major damage just southwest of Buffalo."

At 1:30 a.m. KOLR TV-10 in Springfield was reporting at least one tornado fatality near Buffalo.

At 12:20 p.m.- NWS reports "debris structural damage trees down power lines down near Hwy 32 and Hwy A southwest of Lebanon. 

Also tractor-trailer (trucks) blown off (nearby) Interstate I-44 from a possible tornado."
No immediate reports of injuries.

Two other fatalities were reported in southern Missouri early Wednesday morning.

Storms that formed in Arkansas then moved rapidly into far south Missouri around 1 a.m..

A reported tornado damaged five homes around Kimberling City west of Branson around 1:10 a.m.- then the tornado moved toward Branson.

The Kimberling Inn hotel was virtually destroyed.

From around 1:20 to 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning- a tornado moved through the city of Branson MO..

Early reports told of a wall collapsed at a restaurant there and the roof of a motel  damaged with a roof of a gas station blown off according to the NWS.

KYTV-3 in Springfield was reporting "major damage" and "people injured" in Branson shortly before 3 a.m..

Major damage was reported via Branson police and fire scanner radio at the Walmart on Highway 76 as well as a nearby Taco Bell.

Several motels and hotels were also damaged.

The Blue Bayou Motor Inn was virtually destroyed.

The high-rise Hilton hotel at Branson Landing Convention Center had windows blown out and furnishings were "sucked out windows" according to eyewitness reports.

There was also major damage reported "in the area of Charley's Steakhouse" along the 76 Strip in Branson.

One unit was reporting five minor injuries and one moderately-injured person in one Branson subdivision.

Nearly three-dozen injuries were reported in the Branson vicinity- one of the injured was reported to be in critical condition at a Springfield hospital Wednesday..

Trees and power lines were also down- and much of that Missouri entertainment area about 40 miles south of Springfield was dark and inaccesable by telephone early Wednesday morning.

1 comment:

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