JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon on Sunday declared a state of emergency in response to severe weather that brought heavy rain, strong winds, and hail to many areas of the state and spawned two tornadoes. With another round of potentially dangerous weather forecast for later today, the Governor urges Missourians to monitor conditions and heed weather alerts.
“This system of severe weather has already brought damaging storms to many areas of the state, including the town of Orrick where a tornado caused significant damage to homes, vehicles and schools,” Gov. Nixon said. “With more potentially dangerous storms in the forecast for later today, I urge Missourians to stay alert, use caution and take shelter immediately if severe weather is headed their way. Our state emergency management team will continue to monitor conditions and work closely with local officials to help communities prepare for and respond to this dangerous weather system.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to assist residents in Orrick, where a tornado caused significant damage to homes, vehicles and schools. Another tornado took down trees and power lines near Marshall in Saline County.
The State Emergency Operations Center has been actively monitoring the storm system and the ongoing potential for more heavy rains, strong winds, flash-flooding, hail and tornadoes that could affect the state later today. Gov. Nixon has been receiving updates from his emergency management team to assess the current weather situation and address local needs. The team includes senior officials from the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Missouri National Guard, Missouri State Highway Patrol and State Emergency Management Agency
Gov. Nixon has also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.
According to NOAA, several supercell thunderstorms formed across western and northern Missouri. The first cells formed around 3 p.m. in far northern Missouri, and produced very large hail up to the size of softballs. These softball-sized hail stones fell near the city of Trenton in Grundy County.
Later in the evening another cluster of storms formed directly over the Kansas City metro area, and after several minutes of maturing, a dominant supercell moved east of the metro and produced a strong tornado west of Orrick. Unfortunately the tornado moved into the town of Orrick and damaged many structures; however, no injuries were reported with this tornado.
The storm then went on to produce another tornado near the city of Marshall in Saline County. Also remarkable with this supercell was that a storm chaser near the tornado reported winds in excess of 100 mph near Marshall. By the late evening hours most of the storm activity either dissipated or moved out of the area.
Also, according to details provided by NOAA, a damage survey team has finished surveying the tornado that formed over the Missouri River in between Missouri City and Sibley, and tracked eastward through Orrick. The tornado dissipated approximately two miles south of Richmond.
The tornado has been rated EF-2, with a path length of 11.5 miles and a maximum width of 500 yards. A second, separate tornado formed approximately one mile north of Lexington, and was rated EF-0, with a path length of 0.5 miles and a maximum width of 25 yards.
A similar survey was done on the tornado that formed 4.5 miles north northeast of Marshall and dissipated 8 miles east of Marshall. This tornado has been rated EF-1, with a path length of 7.5 miles and a maximum width of 0.75 miles (1,350 yards). Photos submitted to the Sedalia Weekly Observer.