Storm system sparks small twisters

Friday, May 8, 2009 | 10:42 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — The National Weather Service says a strong storm system moved across southern Missouri on Friday morning, spawning a few small tornadoes and damaging straight-line winds of up to 80 mph.

Meteorologist Bill Davis says a tornado was reported around 8:30 a.m. in Republic, west of Springfield, but it had not been confirmed and he had heard of only minor damage.

Davis said the weather service is likely to issue more tornado warnings throughout the day as the system moves east. He said the biggest threats are heavy wind, lightning and golf ball-sized hail, which has been reported in several areas.

He said any tornadoes that pop up from the storm aren't expected to be very strong or sustained, though straight-line winds are capable of causing some damage.

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