Midwest Tornadoes Damage Hundreds of Homes

Injuries reported as well
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2017 7:15 PM CST
Midwest Tornadoes Damage Hundreds of Homes
Mark Swartz sits in the living room of his home as he salvages items after it was destroyed by a tornado Tuesday, March 7, 2017, when a severe storm passed through Oak Grove, Mo. Monday night.    (Charlie Riedel)

Dozens of tornadoes struck overnight in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois, leaving hundreds of homes damaged Tuesday, the AP reports. The National Weather Service was assessing the exact number and strength of twisters Tuesday. The same storm system brought huge hailstones and powerful winds as far south as the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas and as far north as Wisconsin. The storm system was weakening as it moved to the east but the Storm Prediction Center said parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama could see severe thunderstorms Tuesday.

  • In Oak Grove, Missouri, 483 homes and 10 to 12 commercial buildings were damaged and 12 people were injured after a tornado with an estimated peak wind of 152mph hit.

  • In Smithville, Missouri, an EF2 tornado with peak winds of 132 mph, damaged or destroyed between 60 and 70 homes.
  • A suburban Kansas City airport was hit by straight-line winds averaging 80 to 85 mph, not a tornado, the weather service said. Nine public and three private hangars were damaged, with one demolished, and officials were still working to determine how many airplanes were damaged at the Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, Kansas.
  • About 46 homes sustained some damage, with a handful having major damage, in the nearby suburb of Leawood, Kansas, said Johnson County spokeswoman Sharon Watson.
  • Police said several homes, barns and sheds were damaged in rural areas near Plattsburg and Lathrop in Missouri, and four people were treated for minor injuries.
  • EF1 tornadoes, with wind speeds of 86 to 110 mph, were reported in three Missouri communities: the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Macks Creek in west-central Missouri and Wentzville near St. Louis.
  • In northeast Missouri, Shelby County canceled classes after winds damaged several school buildings. And in Odessa, about 40 miles east of Kansas City, people were told to boil their water because the city's water treatment plant was damaged.
  • In Iowa, where hurricane-force winds were reported, the National Weather Service in Davenport confirmed three injuries and 80 homes damaged in Muscatine from a tornado that traveled nearly 2 miles leaving a swath of damage 200 yards wide. The EF2 tornado struck Monday night with peak winds of 115 mph.
  • Another EF2 tornado swept along 25 miles through Blue Grass, northwest Davenport and Eldridge damaging a home, farm buildings, trees and power poles. A suspected tornado also damaged a school in the south-central Iowa community of Seymour.
  • Minnesota got hit with two tornadoes Monday evening—the earliest twisters to ever strike the state. Forecasters say one damaged buildings and took down trees and power lines near Zimmerman, about 35 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The second caused damage in Clarks Grove, about 15 miles north of Albert Lea in southern Minnesota.
(More tornado stories.)

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