Severe storms leave behind major cleanup, minor injuries

Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | 1:16 p.m. CDT; updated 6:24 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

PALMYRA — Several northeast Missouri communities were assessing damage Wednesday, a day after strong storms and several tornadoes tumbled cars and mobile homes, tore the roofs off buildings and knocked down trees and power lines.

The storms caused a few injuries, but none was believed to be life-threatening.

In Palmyra, a town of 3,500 residents 130 miles north of St. Louis, authorities believe a tornado was responsible for damage to several homes and businesses, including many downtown buildings. A church lost its roof. So did the Ben Franklin store and the Great Central Lumber Co. The flagpole atop City Hall was bent at a 45-degree angle.

Monroe City and Shelbina also had significant damage, and rural areas of Marion, Monroe, Shelby, Montgomery and Scotland counties were hit hard.

Patti Martin, 50, of Kirksville, was traveling along U.S. 61 near Palmyra when a tornado flipped her Ford Escort into the air “like a somersault,” she said. The car landed upside down. Martin was hanging out the window by her seat belt. Outside of a few cuts, she was OK.

Martin said the weather turned nasty so she pulled into a driveway.

“I saw stuff flying all around me,” she said. “The car was rocking. Then I heard ‘kaboom’, and all the windows exploded” before the car started flipping.

In Monroe County near the town of Lakenan, a mobile home was damaged and its occupant was hospitalized with minor injuries. Elsewhere in Monroe County, a barn was destroyed.

In Scotland County, police said a tornado touched down near Memphis, damaging buildings and knocking down power lines.

In Montgomery County, a hog building was destroyed and a tornado cut a path through a corn field.

A small building was destroyed at the Scotland County fairgrounds, and some campers were damaged at Show-Me Lake, said Sheriff Wayne Winn. One camper was destroyed when winds tore it off a trailer and threw it against a tree.

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