Twisters strike rural areas

A hospital was damaged but there were no deaths.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:19 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

ALBANY, Mo. — Tornadoes that hit northwest Missouri and northern and eastern Kansas blew some houses off their foundations, tore up several businesses and damaged an Albany hospital.

But there were no reports of any deaths from Monday night’s storms.

The National Weather Service had reports of possible tornadoes in Livingston, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Harrison, Linn, Worth and Macon counties in northwest Missouri, and in Republic, Washington, Wabaunsee, Shawnee and Osage counties in northern and eastern Kansas. Many of those tornadoes touched down in rural areas, including farmland, causing little damage.

In Gentry County, Robert Crockett, the emergency management coordinator, said the twister damaged his house, along with almost every business along the stretch of U.S. 136 that runs through Albany. Many were relying on emergency generators for power Monday night.

The roof of Northwest Medical Center in Albany was damaged, but no one in the hospital was hurt. The hospital was running on auxiliary power and lost water service, so its 10 patients were evacuated to other hospitals.

The entire town was still without electricity Tuesday morning, and the best guess at city hall was that power wouldn’t return until Wednesday night.

Janet Sweat, city clerk, said she would spend the day taking phone calls and directing volunteers to an emergency command center set up by Crockett.

Among the most heavily damaged businesses is the town’s only grocery store, which lost a roof and had a wall collapse. Gentry County Commissioner Bill Rigney said a local Casey’s store and gas stations were also closed.

In northwest Missouri, between five and 10 tornadoes touched down from two supercell storms that tracked across U.S. 136 and U.S. 36, said meteorologist Lynn Maximuk of the National Weather Service. The stronger storm hit Albany, where the Red Cross set up emergency shelters.

Meanwhile, Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe said 10 people were brought there with minor injuries from the storm that went through Livingston County. Four tornadoes touched down in or near Chillicothe in about one hour Monday night, with most of the damage east and south of the city, police dispatcher Cindy Hanavan said.

In the Topeka, Kan., area, storms damaged two businesses.

Propane gas was leaking from one of the businesses and power lines were down, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy Jay Boyles said, causing officials to block traffic in the area.

A number of tornadoes touched down in Republic County in northern Kansas, the sheriff’s department said, but there were no reports of injuries and the only damage came from golf-ball-sized hail in Belleville.

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