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Missouri tornadoes: Storms wreck homes, injure more than a dozen

The National Weather Service says at least two tornadoes touched down in Missouri Monday evening as a line of severe storms with heavy rain and large hail moved across the state, damaging homes in communities north and east of the Kansas City metro area.

Dan Hawblitzel, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, said there were corridors of significant damage in the Oak Grove area east of Kansas City, in Smithville north of Kansas City and in the Kansas suburbs of Leawood and Olathe. Hawblitzel said there were no immediate reports of fatalities as a result of the storms, which produced a stream of warnings and watches in eastern Kansas and in Missouri through the late afternoon and evening.

“It played out as we expected — several tornadoes and a lot of wind damage,” Hawblitzel said. “It’s certainly sad to see and hear about the homes destroyed.”

Oak Grove Emergency Management Director Mark Sherwood said about 20 homes there were damaged or destroyed, both in the city and in a nearby unincorporated area. Ten to 15 people were hurt, but none had life-threatening injuries, he said. Authorities plan damage assessments Tuesday morning. The storm largely spared the business district.

The vast majority of the community is without power, and local media reported that school is canceled for Tuesday.

Smithville Police Chief Jason Lockridge told The Associated Press that 20 to 25 homes were damaged and five or six were uninhabitable in the community about 20 miles north of Kansas City. The storm hit two subdivisions in the north part of town at about 7:30 p.m., but there were no reported injuries Monday evening, Lockridge said.

In Clinton County, emergency crews found about a line of damage from south of Plattsburg, about 30 miles northeast of Kansas City, east to the area south of Lathrop and on to Interstate 35, said Rick Bashor, police chief in nearby Cameron. Two people were injured and taken to an area hospital, but neither injury was critical, said Bashor, who went to Clinton County to help in the aftermath of the storm.

Bashor said homes and other structures were damaged but authorities wouldn’t know how many until daylight. Most of the area was without power early Tuesday morning.

Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Ryan Jewell said the first tornado was reported around 7:20 p.m. near Platte City, about 20 miles north of Kansas City.

Jewell said radar indications showed the twister continued northeast into Clinton County, toward the town of Lathrop, before it began to dissipate.

A short time later, another tornado touched down east of Kansas City in Jackson County, just south of Interstate 70. Jewell said the twister hit near Grain Valley and moved east toward Oak Grove.

The Kansas City Star reported probable tornado damage in Carrollton involving downed power lines, damaged roofs, and overturned vehicles. They have now contacted to help the houses with roof damages.

Media reports described damage to planes and hangars at the Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, Kansas.

The website for Kansas City-area power company KCP&L showed more than 100,000 customers without power late Monday evening.

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