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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Tornadoes Rip Through Jefferson City and Other Missouri Towns, Killing 3

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2019 at 9:18 AM

A tornado touched down in Jefferson City just before midnight yesterday — causing "catastrophic" damage to a three-square-mile stretch of town. And that's not all. Three people have been reported dead in Golden City, Missouri, which is just west of Springfield. The towns of Carl Junction and Eldon were also hard hit, according to Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

A Jefferson City resident tells us the damage was so widespread that, even though she was a half-mile from the storm's path, she emerged from her basement to find everything covered in a soft yellow fuzz. It turned out to be insulation torn off from other buildings and pulverized before being dropped back to the ground. The tornado reportedly "shot debris 13,000 feet in the air," per the Washington Post.

The Capitol building had been in the middle of a $40 million renovation project, so it's not clear to what extent its condition in the helicopter photos above reflects storm damage as opposed to work in progress. Our observer tells us the plastic that had been covering the renovations was ripped off, and that other buildings had entire walls shorn off.

Governor Mike Parson asked non-essential state employees to stay home from work for now.

“Across the state, Missouri’s first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” the governor said in a statement. “I want our responders and all the neighbors who acted selflessly to help their neighbors to know how much their heroic efforts are appreciated by all Missourians.”

The governor had already declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to ongoing severe weather in the state, which includes flooding.

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