A small Missouri community is recovering after a nocturnal tornado swept through town Friday, destroying everything in its path.
The Edina Sentinel editor Echo Menges, who has been reporting from the scene, said officials from the National Weather Service told her that “without question, it was a tornado.”
According to the NWS, a survey team found dam-age that is consistent with at least an EF-2 tornado and the assessment is ongoing. That rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale means the twister had winds of at least 111 mph.
NWS storm surveyors found evidence of peak winds up to 122 mph along the 1.64-mile path of the twister.
No fatalities or severe injuries occurred as a result, Knox County Emergency Manager Bill Whiles said at a press conference Saturday afternoon. Only minor injuries have been reported.
Of the town’s 124 residents, as many as 14 people were rescued from their destroyed homes in Baring just after 11 p.m. on Friday, Menges told FOX Weather. Residents in a senior housing complex were among the many seeking help.
Terry Fast was among those displaced in the middle of the night. He said he was in bed and suddenly awoke to the ceiling falling on him.
“I didn’t hear (any) sound or nothing,” he told The Edina Sentinel. “I didn’t know what was going on. I tried to do the best I could. Everything was raining on me.”
A building with its roof blown off and at least one wall in shambles. A building with its roof blown off and at least one wall in shambles. With his face bloodied and scratched, Fast said paramedics had to kick open his door to free him from his home before an ambulance shuttled him to a nearby community center following the disaster.
As the powerful line of thunderstorms developed over Knox County, several residents in Baring reported that their tornado siren failed to go off, according to Menges. Emergency personnel also said they did not receive any notifications on their weather radios.
Among the buildings destroyed were the town’s post office and fire station. Menges said there is damage to numerous vehicles and large items like shipping containers and feeders spread throughout the town.
Whiles told The Edina Sentinel that emergency personnel also responded to several hazardous materials leaks from tanks full of anhydrous ammonia and propane in the damaged area.
Knox County Sheriff Carl Knoche told the newspaper that power to the town had to be turned off during the emergency response. He also asked everyone to refrain from visiting the town for now as emergency and clean-up efforts are still underway.—AFP