In the span of about four hours Wednesday night, five tornadoes touched down in Missouri and a part of Kansas, according to preliminary findings released by National Weather Service offices in Springfield and St. Louis.
Four were reported in the southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas region alone, including one that led to the deaths of three people: a couple in their 80s and a 56-year-old woman.
Then, late into the night, a strong tornado tore through Jefferson City, where several were injured and houses and businesses were damaged.
The National Weather Service in Springfield published a report Thursday afternoon, saying it had confirmed four tornadoes so far that touched down Wednesday night.
The first one was recorded at 7:34 p.m near Treece in Cherokee County, Kansas. The weather service said it believes the tornado began moving in Oklahoma, was picked up and then crossed the state line into Kansas, where several trees were found snapped and uprooted.
At 8:05 p.m., some people caught a glimpse of a tornado near Carl Junction in Jasper County, Missouri. Numerous homes were found with roof damage and damage to the exterior walls. Power poles and trees snapped. The weather service gave the tornado a damage rating of EF-3, with peak winds estimated at 140 mph. The tornado was on the ground for 14 minutes and covered a nine-mile path. No injuries were reported.
Nearby, in Oronogo, another city in Jasper County, a weaker tornado touched down at 8:27 p.m., damaging trees.
Then, a stronger tornado, rated an EF-3, ripped through the Golden City area at 8:51 p.m., killing three people, injuring one and destroying mobile homes and damaging houses. The weather service estimated winds at 142 mph and said the tornado took a 12-mile path from Jasper County to Barton County, remaining on the ground for 22 minutes.
Elsewhere in the state, in Cole County, another tornado had reached a maximum damage rating of EF-3, according to an overview from the National Weather Service in St. Louis. Preliminary findings from the weather service said the tornado was recorded at 11:20 p.m., with peak winds estimated at 160 mph. It traveled nearly 20 miles, damaging homes and businesses in Jefferson City and ending across the Missouri River in Callaway County, as shown by a map provided by the weather service.
The Jefferson City Police Department said 25 people were injured in the tornado during a news conference Thursday morning.
Crews continue to survey the damage reported from Wednesday night’s storms.