ST. LOUIS - Severe thunderstorms that fired in Oklahoma surged into Missouri Wednesday evening leaving a path of damage across the Show-Me State. A tornado touched down near the Kansas and Oklahoma border and then moved northeast, striking Carl Junction, Missouri, causing extensive damage to homes.
“This is a bad one. This house right over here has major roof damage. It’s completely blown off of it. The house two houses east of me, half of it’s gone. It’s crazy,” said Carl Junction resident Roger Shelton.
The town is just north of Joplin, where an EF-5 tornado devastated the city eight years to the date, killing 161 people.
From Carl Junction, the tornado moved across Interstate 49 and struck Golden City, located about 40 miles to the northeast. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 86-year-old Kenneth Harris and his 83-year-old wife, Opal, were found about 200 yards from their home outside Golden City. Betty Berg, 56, died and her husband, Mark, was seriously injured when their mobile home was destroyed. The storm also ripped a roof off a fertilizer plant in the area, prompting a precautionary evacuation because of a possible chemical leak.
The National Weather Service in Springfield says it won’t know whether there was one or multiple tornadoes until teams finish surveying the storm's damage path, but it could be that a single tornado was on the ground for 80 minutes.