Violent weather kills three in Missouri, floods rivers in Oklahoma

Violent weather kills three in Missouri, floods rivers in Oklahoma”

"Across the state, Missouri's first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely unsafe conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people", governor Mike Parson said.

The National Weather Service said preliminary information indicates the tornado at Jefferson City was an EF-3, which typically carry winds up to 160 miles per hour (260kph).

"It's a chaotic situation right now", said Jefferson Citypolice lieutenant David Williams. The tornado caused some damage in the town of Carl Junction, about 4 miles north of the Joplin airport.

The Arkansas River is approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and MS rivers were again rising after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of tornadoes. Forecasters predicted parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more severe weather on Thursday. "You'll delay the work of first responders and utility crews, and slow efforts to clear debris", the agency wrote. According to reports it moved at 40mph at some points, and dispersed debris 13,000ft into the air, including overturning vehicles.

Another natural disaster could be imminent in Jefferson City.

A husband and wife in Missouri were killed Tuesday when their SUV skidded across the center lines of USA highway 160 and the vehicle struck a semi.

But Mayor Larry Henderson said people in Eldon were counting their blessings: Despite all the damage, just one man was hurt, when the wind flipped his truck.

A fourth weather-related death may have occurred in Oklahoma, where the Highway Patrol said a woman apparently drowned after driving around a barricade Tuesday near Perkins, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City.

The extreme weather is not just limited to tornadoes.

"Flash flooding is possible across portions of the central plains during this time, and SPC has an enhanced risk of severe storms from northwest Texas to central Kansas on Thursday".

The Jefferson City Fire Department tweeted: "All Jefferson City Firefighters have been called back and are beginning rescue operations". They gave him a flotation device and pulled him to safety.

Harold Brownlee, 78, was taken to a hospital, where he was in critical condition late Wednesday morning, according to the sheriff's office.

Oklahomans also had to contend with heavy rains and flooding, prompting water rescues by first responders.

The weather service said a tornado - up to 150 yards wide - struck the area with peak wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. He also tweeted that more people could still be trapped in their homes, and that there was severe damage and power outages.

Wednesday's twister, which fell on the same day as one of the most devastating tornadoes in USA history, was part of a significant storm system that has tore through the central US for the past several days.

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