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.
Missouri's three tornado fatalities bring to seven the number of deaths from storms this week.
Before midnight, the National Weather Service urged Jefferson City residents to "shelter now!" as the tornado moved at 40 miles per hour through the central Missouri region and shot debris about 13,000 feet into the air. No injuries have been reported.
On Wednesday night, the large tornado tore through the capital Jefferson City, with authorities reporting at least 20 people in hospital.
Downed power lines stretch into a street in tornado-hit Jefferson City, MO., Thursday, May 23, 2019. Dozens of tornadoes hit other cities in Missouri.
Threatening storms tracked near the Joplin, Missouri, area, but ultimately didn't leave any extensive damage behind in the city. The storm then traveled north, touching down in Eldon, before reaching Jefferson City. Latterly, our responders put their full efforts to save multiple people who were trapped into buildings.
CITY-The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered on Friday, May 24, in a submerged vehicle near the Mississippi River in Missouri, bringing the death toll to nine from storms that have ravaged the central USA this week and threaten major flooding through the holiday weekend. Town officials ordered a mandatory evacuation Wednesday afternoon because of the river's rising level.
Thousands were left without electricity following several outages caused by the severe weather, power company Liberty Utilities Empire District wrote on Facebook.
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A specialized task force says 11 structures were destroyed and 157 were damaged by a tornado that hit Jefferson City, Missouri.
The weather service says "near catastrophic flooding" occurs at 37 feet (11 meters), and that the predicted river levels will create "an extremely risky and life-threatening situation". That causes the tornado to act like a suction and pull roofs off of houses, Yan said. "We are trying to identify the people that need our help the most".
"We are asking that all non-essential state employees in the Jefferson City area remain at home on Thursday".
The destruction in Missouri came as severe weather has ravaged the central United States over the past several days, unleashing twisters, drenching rain, flash flooding and hail.
The weather service predicted strong and severe storms would continue through the weekend in Missouri and adjacent IL, causing "continued river flooding throughout the Missouri and Mississippi River basins".
JCPS is hosting the American Red Cross shelter at Thomas Jefferson Middle School for residents displaced by tornado damage.
Maples said, "As of this morning, the main parts of the storms have pushed eastward, thank goodness", leaving the region to deal with just another expected two inches of rain through Friday.