Search and rescue operations underway in Missouri city after ‘violent’ tornado

Posted at 4:32 AM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 08:21:37-04
Jefferson City damage
(Missouri State Emergency Management Agency)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A “violent” and large nighttime tornado has caused significant damage in Jefferson City, Mo., injuring at least 20 people.

No fatalities have been reported at this time and police say they are not aware of any missing people.

First responders were performing search and rescue operations in the city, which is located about two hours west of St. Louis.

“It’s a chaotic situation right now,” said Lt. David Williams. “We are trying to identify all the people that need our help.”

The twister first touched down just west of Eldon, Mo., where it also damaged buildings. The twister touched down multiple times along a 30-mile stretch, tracing Highway 54 until it hit Missouri’s capital city around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Photos of the area showed downed power lines and severe damage to structures.

Jefferson City is home to approximately 43,000 people.

It wasn’t the only twister to cause significant damage in the state. Another tornado killed three people in Golden City, Mo., which is about 40 miles to the northeast of Joplin, Mo.

The tornado touched down just four miles north of Joplin on the eighth anniversary of a massive twister that devastated the city and killed 161 people there.