FREEMAN, Mo. – Tornadoes (search) touched down in at least two western Missouri (search) counties Friday night, causing damage and some minor injuries, as a weeklong rash of severe weather in the Kansas City area continued.
"It came down right on top of me," said Freeman Police Officer John Smith. "You could just here this 'brrrr' and I thought that was it. I thought it was going to pick me up and throw me. I thought I was done for."
According to reports from police, tornadoes touched down in Cass and Lafayette counties as the violent thunderstorm, which packed large hail and strong rain that caused some flooding, moved east across the state.
In Cass County, immediately south of the Kansas City (search) metropolitan area, a tornado touched down near Freeman just before 10 p.m., damaging six 600,000-gallon fuel and oil tanks owned by British Petroleum, Smith said.
The tanks had been emptied just a few days earlier, Smith said, "otherwise, we'd have fuel all over the place."
That tornado also hit an RV park near the fuel tanks, flipping one RV onto its side and tossing another into a ditch. Three people were injured there, none seriously, said Stan Swaggart, Cass County's emergency management director.
Initial reports that a second tornado touched down in Cass County near Harrisonville were incorrect, Swaggart said.
"After some checking, they didn't touch down," Swaggart said. "The firemen reported they all stayed up in the air, but they were definitely there. We had three spinning in the air over Harrisonville at different times."
Moving northeast, the storm produced a tornado that touched down near Alma in Lafayette County around 10:15 p.m.
The Lafayette County Sheriff's Department had no reports of any injuries late Friday night, although the tornado knocked down trees and power lines, and caused moderate damage to some structures in Corder area.
Just before 11 p.m., a tornado reportedly touched down in Centerview in Johnson County, but the sheriff's department said later they had been unable to confirm that report. There were no reports of any damage or injuries in the county.
Since Sunday, tornado-packed storms have killed at least 42 people across the Midwest and Plains -- 18 in Missouri, 15 in Tennessee, seven in Kansas and two in Illinois. Officials have estimated damage in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Thursday night, a series of tornadoes passed through eastern Kansas, causing damage and some minor injuries in several counties. Most of the damage was in Lawrence, home of the University of Kansas, where officials said 52 single family homes, 32 duplexes and 11 apartment buildings were damaged.