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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Storm rips area

Friday, March 10, 2006

(Photo)
High winds Thursday evening caused a large tree to fall on a home and automobile at 335 E. Gladys St.
SIKESTON - A strong storm pummeled Southeast Missouri with high winds and heavy rainfall Thursday evening, damaging homes, businesses and even toppling a church steeple.

This area fared better than neighboring states, however, where the same storm system is blamed for the death of two people as tornadoes and stormy weather ripped through the region.

Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden said his department was alerted at approximately 6:30 p.m. Thursday that the advancing storm was about to strike the city. Off-duty DPS personnel were called in to staff fire and police equipment to respond to any resulting emergencies.

"The majority of the damage that was received in the city was due to high winds and heavy rainfall," Juden said in a news release. "We have received many reports of power outages as well as tree limbs and whole trees that have blown over in the city."

Among damage reported in the city was a steeple blown off of the Trinity Gospel Church into the intersection of Wakefield and Davis Boulevard, the trailer portion of an 18-wheeler rig turned over in the area of Keystone and Highway 60, and a greenhouse owned by Bizzell Lawn Care on Smith Street was destroyed. The Hunter Acres nursing facility received minor damage when windows were blown out of the facility and at 335 W. Gladys St., a toppled tree struck a car and house and partially blocked the street.

(Photo)
High winds blew down the steeple at Trinity Gospel Church.
Also homes manufactured by Heritage American Homes were damaged. The homes were in the manufacturer's parking lot when they were turned over.

Throughout the city trees and power lines were reported down and signs damaged in front of businesses. Some areas in Sikeston lost power for short periods while some AmerenUE customers around Sikeston were without electricity for several hours. Parts of Sikeston still had no power early today.

"We think we should have power back on later this afternoon or early evening," said Wayne McSpadden, operations manager for BMU.

With ditches already filled with water from rains earlier in the day, some flooding was reported in and around Sikeston. The Sikeston Power Plant, which is an official recording station for the U.S. Weather Service, reported 3.33 inches of rain as of 7 a.m. Friday from the storms beginning early Thursday morning which filled many streets with water up past the curbs and stranded several motorists.

DPS officials said they expected to receive more reports of damage from the wind and flooding as residents were able to survey their homes in the daylight Friday. Juden urged residents to avoid areas with damage in order to allow repair and emergency crews to safely finish work.

(Photo)
Sikeston resident Glenn Burdin looks at a tree that was blown down in his back yard.
During last night's storm the National Weather Service at Paducah was reporting winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. In addition to the rain, there were reports of severe thunderstorms and hail. A tornado watch was in effect for portions of Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky.

Among the hardest hit areas was Mississippi County with East Prairie and portions of Charleston still without power this morning.

"It was really, really bad," said Mississippi County Sheriff's Department dispatcher Diane Kelly. "But it doesn't appear anyone was injured, mainly damage to structures."

Kelly said according to the dispatch log following the storm there were reports of poles and trees across roads, damage to residences and live wires down.

The schools at Charleston and East Prairie were closed today as a result of the power outages.

Four people were apparently injured in New Madrid County when their trailer was toppled by the storm. According to the Portageville Police Department, officers received a report of a trailer turned over north of town, however by the time officers arrived the occupants had managed to get out. Four individuals were later transferred to a medical facility at Hayti for treatment.

Also a trailer was reported turned over by high winds at Catron. The occupants of the trailer were not treated for injuries, according to a spokesman with the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department.

Power outages were reported throughout the area. New Madrid County Central High School was without power this morning as were portions of the city of New Madrid. Also schools were closed at Gideon and Risco due to power outages, according to reports.

Throughout New Madrid County there were reports of the stormy weather uprooting trees and downing power lines.

The Pemiscot County Sheriff's office said early today they had not received any reports of major damage from the storm.

All repair crews available were out throughout the night to make repairs for customers of SEMO Electric Cooperative after the storm knocked down some 20 poles. Jerry Dockins, customer services manager, estimated some 5,500 to 6,000 customers were initially without power; as of 9 a.m. today power had been returned to all but about 300 to 500 residents served by the Co-op.

According to Ameren UE, the following number of its customers were still without power at 9:30 a.m. today: 1,687 in East Prairie, 846 in Dexter, 406 in Lilbourn, 77 in Charleston, 71 in Sikeston, 64 in Matthews, 61 in Morehouse, 13 in Parma, 8 in Benton and 2 in New Madrid.

Dockins said repairs are expected to be completed today.