KCUR News
12:02 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Tornado Impact in Sedalia

Jefferson City, Mo. – A tornado that struck Sedalia Wednesday damaged and destroyed dozens of homes and businesses, but no one was killed and no serious injuries reported. St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin reports.

Officials estimate between 15 and 25 people were transported or drove themselves to the local hospital with minor injuries. The tornado ripped through a six-block stretch of businesses along U.S. Highway 65.

Lisa Livington and her daughter-in-law Taylor Head saw the funnel cloud as it approached. "Yeah, we have it on videotape, off my back porch," says Livington. "We saw the debris and everything yep, everything, we saw it all it was huge."

The tornado also destroyed mobile homes at two trailer parks, and hit the city's school bus yard, forcing the cancellation of the rest of the school year.

Acting Police Chief Larry Ward says despite all this, it feels like Sedalia dodged a bullet. "Obviously we've had damages to folks' homes, some of them have been completely destroyed, and we take that very serious," says Ward. "But we all know as a result of Joplin, it could have been very much worse."

Pettis County's Emergency Management director says a preliminary estimate rates the tornado as an F-1 or F-2. The massive tornado that struck Joplin was an F-5.

A nighttime curfew is in effect for Sedalia's storm-damaged areas, and shelters are open for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.