JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An outbreak of nasty storms spawned tornadoes that razed homes, flattened trees, tossed cars across a dealership lot and injured dozens of people in Missouri's capital city and killed at least three others in the southwest corner of the state.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a large and destructive twister moved over Jefferson City just before midnight Wednesday.
The tornado cut a path about 3 miles long and a mile wide from the south end of Jefferson City north toward the Missouri River, police Lt. David Williams said. Emergency workers reported about two dozen injuries, Williams said, and around 100 of people were in shelters. Hospitals reported treating injuries such as cuts and bruises.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or missing people in the capital city of about 40,000, but door-to-door checks were being done Thursday.
Storms and torrential rains have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, in the past few days.
Two barges carrying a total of about 3,800 pounds of fertilizer broke loose Thursday and floated down the swollen Arkansas River in Oklahoma, spreading alarm downstream as they hit a dam and sank. On Facebook, Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, warned the town's 600 residents: “If the dam breaks, it will be catastrophic!! Leave now!!”
Residents of northeastern Oklahoma were bracing for more possible flooding as the Army Corps of Engineers prepared to increase the rate of flow from Keystone Dam, northwest of Tulsa, to the highest rate in at least 21 years. Officials said the increase will help lower the level of Keystone Lake, a popular recreational lake that's more than 20 feet above normal.