The powerful tornado that swept across Jefferson City, Missouri last night has left havoc in its wake, with at least three people dead. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado raged winds up to 160 mph and was rated an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
The tornado touched down at approximately 11:45 PM CDT and the National Weather Service in St. Louis issued a tornado emergency soon after for the region. In Jefferson City, the tornado's funnel was wider than its height; it also shot debris 13,000 feet up into the air, reported the National Weather Service said.
First responders worked through until the morning to rescue those trapped in downed structures and at least twenty people were transported to hospitals. Those three dead were from Golden City, which is located in southwestern Missouri.
"Across the state, Missouri’s first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people," said Missouri Governor Mike Parson, after confirming the damage to state buildings. He also confirmed that certain parts of the region were without power. According to Accuweather, Parson declared a state of emergency earlier in the week because of severe weather and the ongoing flood threat.
From early Wednesday into Thursday morning, the National Weather Service reported at least 29 tornadoes, mostly in Missouri and Oklahoma. Since last Friday, that total rises to 171 tornadoes. The region was also bombarded by strong thunderstorms following the tornado, which affected from Ottawa County, Oklahoma, to Bexter Springs and Galena, Kansas, and Carl Junction, Oronogo and Golden City, Missouri.
Meteorologists warn that the threat is not over yet, as tornadoes could endanger Lubbock, Texas, to the Kansas City area and from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia.