As storms roll through Missouri, National Weather Service issues weather warnings [UPDATES]
Update 4/4/14 8:13 a.m.: (AP) As a second wave of violent weather rolled through eastern Missouri, it brought scattered reports of tornado sightings. The public reported a tornado shortly after 7 last night near the town of Washington, Missouri, but Franklin County emergency management director Abraham Cook says there were no immediate reports of damage or injury. A tornado touched down briefly around 5:30 yesterday morning in the St. Louis suburb of University City.
In central Missouri, a member of the public reported a tornado yesterday evening near the Osage County town of Rich Fountain. County emergency management director Andrea Rice said the sighting was unconfirmed and she was unaware of any damage.
Parts of Missouri had hail and more than 6 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, prompting flash flooding and water rescues in several locations.
Update 4/3/14 5:36 p.m.: National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for several counties, including Boone County, until midnight. Boone County also has a flash flood warning until 10:30 p.m., a flash flood watch until 4 a.m. Friday, and a flood warning until 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Update 4/3/14 2:42 p.m.: Flash Flood Warning for Eastern Missouri, in effect till 10:30 pm tonight.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency after storms struck most of the state today, spawning a tornado in suburban St. Louis and causing flash flooding in several areas.
The National Weather Service has issued a series of tornado watches that remain in effect until 5, 7 and 9 this evening for dozens of Missouri counties in the southern portions of the state, including Dent, Howell, Oregon, Ozark and Shannon counties, which are under a watch until 5; an additional 15 counties under watch until 7pm; and 32 Missouri counties, including Camden and Cooper counties, are under a watch until 9 tonight.
In Boone County, a flood warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, with several roads flooded and closed, including the following roads listed in this statement from the NWS website:
IN BOONE COUNTY...ROUTE ZZ AT I-70 DRIVE SOUTHEAST... ROUTE E AT TWIN BRIDGES...HECHT ROAD AT ROUTE OO AT HINKSON CREEK NEAR HALLSVILLE...STONE DRIVE AT DRIPPING SPRINGS NEAR SILVER FORK...WILCOX ROAD AT O NEAL ROAD...AND ROUTE E NEAR PERCHE CREEK ARE CLOSED AND FLOODED.
Nixon activated the State Emergency Operations Center and the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate with local jurisdictions for emergency services.
No injuries have been reported, but several homes in University were damaged by a twister touched down at 5:23 a.m. Several homes in western Missouri were damaged by flash floods.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued flash flood watches for much of Missouri today and said areas along Interstate 70 received up to 6 inches of rain in the last three days. Emergency crews rescued a few motorists after storms pushed across western Missouri, forcing creeks out of their banks.
Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Collin Stosberg says no injuries are reported, but two sections of U.S. 50 in Johnson County are closed because of flooding.
Johnson County crews rescued a woman early today after she became stranded in her vehicle because of rising water. Three rescuers also needed help after their jet skis became clogged with debris and were disabled. Pettis County crews also rescued a man whose vehicle was swept into a field at a waterway crossing.