Dramatic drone video made public Thursday revealed the extent of the destruction from severe storms that killed at least three people in Missouri Wednesday night.
The drones capture the aftermath of an outbreak of nasty storms, which spawned tornadoes that razed homes, flattened trees, tossed cars across a dealership lot and injured about two dozen people in Jefferson City, the state capital.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a large and destructive twister moved over Jefferson City shortly before midnight Wednesday. Preliminary information indicated the tornado at was an EF-3 twister, which typically carries winds of up to 160 mph.
Meteorologist Cory Rothstein said it’s possible that tornado had a 50-mile path and could have been on the ground for 80 minutes. Teams were surveying the path Thursday and trying to determine whether one or multiple tornadoes had touched down.
The tornado cut a path about three miles long and a mile wide from the south end of Jefferson City north toward the Missouri River, said police Lt. David Williams. Around 100 people went to shelters to ride out the story, while hospitals reported treating injuries such as cuts and bruises.
There were no immediate reports of any deaths or missing people in the capital city of about 40,000, but door-to-door checks were being done Thursday.
The first tornado sirens sounded in Jefferson City at 11:10 p.m. — about 30 minutes before the first property damage. Gov. Mike Parson credited the warning system in central Missouri for saving lives.
The three deaths happened more than 150 miles away near Golden City in Missouri’s southwestern corner.
Kenneth Harris, 86, and his 83-year-old wife, Opal, were found dead about 200 yards from their home while Betty Berg, 56, was killed and her husband, Mark, seriously injured when their mobile home was destroyed, authorities said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.