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UPDATE: One death reported in northeast Missouri storm

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | 9:30 p.m. CDT

KIRKSVILLE — Violent storms that spawned at least one tornado raked northeastern Missouri on Wednesday evening, killing one person and damaging numerous buildings.

The city of Kirksville and surrounding Adair County apparently took the hardest hit. The fatality occurred in the county, State Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Susie Stonner said, though she had no details on the death.

Kirksville police Det. Sgt. Ron Celian said a couple of people sought treatment at Northeast Regional Medical Center for what he described as minor injuries.

About 30 to 40 homes were damaged and one destroyed at the north end of Kirksville, Celian said, and an auto dealership was also damaged. A major north-south highway, U.S. 63, was closed in the Kirksville area because of a gas-line leak and downed power lines.

No injuries or damages were reported at Truman State University in Kirksville.

The storms first popped up west of Kirksville in Sullivan County, where a National Weather Service trained spotter reported a funnel cloud near Milan about 5 p.m.

Numerous sightings of funnel clouds were then reported in rapid succession on an eastward path through the Kirksville area and into Knox County and finally Lewis County on the Mississippi River.

Knox County emergency dispatcher Jeanette Randall said the storm hit Edina around 6:45 p.m., with storm spotters reporting multiple funnel clouds. She said emergency workers were assessing damage in Edina and other communities, including Knox City, Hurdland and Baring.

No injuries were reported, but a barn was destroyed, power lines were damaged and trees and power lines lay across roads, Randall said. Power went at a high school where a banquet was under way, but no damage was reported at the school.

The Weather Service also reported that a mobile home was damaged in Sullivan County.

Wednesday's northeastern storms hit while Missouri continued to recover from storms that swept across the state's southern tier Friday. Those storms — with at least a dozen confirmed tornadoes — killed four people and damaged or destroyed several hundred homes.

SEMA reported Wednesday afternoon that about 10,100 customers remained without power from Friday's storm, down from a peak of more than 150,000 outages.


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