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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Storms drench Southeast Missouri

Sunday, September 24, 2006

SIKESTON -- The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for New Madrid and Mississippi counties as they offered warnings Saturday of more storms on the way.

It wasn't good news for southern Missouri residents already reeling from the nearly 5 inches of rain which drenched the area in the previous two days as well as severe storms in other parts of the region.

Julia York, a 911 dispatcher for New Madrid County, reported Saturday morning "floods everywhere, gas leaks, trees down. They're sandbagging houses, they're evacuating some of the Lilbourn people to the VFW in Lilbourn."

In addition to flooded streets around the county following Friday's storms, gas leaks were reported in both Lilbourn and Parma.

"They're trying to clear roads and they've got power lines down in quite a few places," York said.

Among the downed power lines around New Madrid County was a pole with a live wire down on Marston's Main Street.

The Stoddard County communications division reported "just a couple of limbs down, some water across the road in Bernie on U Highway."

No roads were closed that were reported to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

"Just a lot of reports of water over the roadway in numerous locations," said a Patrol spokesperson. "Several where the 'water over the road' signs are out."

The good news is rains should diminish today giving area residents a chance to dry out and recover.

While the rising waters created havoc locally, other communities had to deal with other forces of nature Friday night.

In Dunklin County, a tornado touched down for about 10 minutes in a field just west of Kennett, said Justin Beard, communications officer for the Dunklin County Sheriff. The storm scattered quarter-sized hailstones and sent trees flying across roadways with winds of up to 60 mph, he said.

Also a tornado damaged about 60 homes and injured four people when it tore through Crosstown in Perry County and the surrounding area Friday afternoon.

The tornado cut a one-mile swath east along sparsely populated County Road 350, cutting trees in half and tearing off rooftops, said Trish Erzfeld, a county employee who was appointed public information officer for the agencies that responded to the disaster.

Approximately 200 people were displaced Friday night but no one was unaccounted for as of 9:30 p.m. The worst injury was a broken arm, the Red Cross said.

Two tornadoes swept through Phelps County in south-central Missouri Friday afternoon damaging more than 100 homes, a middle school and a manufacturing plant.

Bruce Southard, Phelps County's emergency management director, said a firefighter videotaped two twisters moving through the town. Southard estimated the tornadoes were on the ground for about 10 minutes.

No deaths had been reported among the town's 3,704 residents and the only injuries reported were minor.

Another tornado caused structural damage when it touched down near Pilot Knob, located about 90 miles south of St. Louis, said Ray Coch of the Ironton Police Department.

National Weather Service officials in Memphis, Tenn., said they were investigating preliminary reports to confirm the storms' force and impact.

Information for this story was also provided by the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian and the Associated Press.