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Nine dead in Missouri from weekend tornadoes

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Volunteers sift through debris Sunday after a tornado destroyed homes in Perry County near the small town St. Mary, about 80 miles south of St. Louis. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By KWMU / AP

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-503109.mp3

St. Louis, MO – Dozens of towns across Missouri are assessing damage this morning (Monday) after severe storms that started Saturday kept hitting the Midwest last night and into this morning.

Nine people in Missouri are confirmed dead because of the storms, including four in the north-central Missouri town of Renick.

At least 100 people in and around Sedalia are displaced this morning after a tornado hit Sunday, that also killed one woman. Authorities say that tornado was a half-mile wide and cut a path of about 20 miles.

There are no deaths reported but plenty of damage from a storm that hit the Lincoln County town of Silex. A woman who works at a diner in Silex says the main elevator in Silex is all but destroyed.

Governor Matt Blunt activated the state's emergency management agency to coordinate responses to the storms.

ILLINOIS STORMS

The city of Springfield, Ill. is believed to have been hit with one of its most devastating storm ever - two tornadoes hit the city overnight.

Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford says the storms appear to have spared all of the cities Lincoln historic sites, and the state Capitol building.

But at least one state building was damaged; it belongs to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has said non-essential state employees don't have to go to work today.

The storm also tore the roof off of a Springfield Wal-Mart and nearby hotels and blew the windows out of other businesses and homes. In all, 24 people had minor injuries and about 15,000 customers were without power this morning. All Springfield public schools and most of its private schools have canceled classes.

To hear an interview with Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford about the storm, click on the 'listen' icon above.

WEEKEND OF STORMS

Sunday's storms followed severe storms that swept through Missouri and southern Illinois Saturday night.

In that round of storms, two people were killed in Perry County and several homes were destroyed south of St. Louis.

A pickup truck the husband and wife were in was picked up and blown into a propane tank. The Highway Patrol says the two people were Michael and Barbara Schaefer, of St. Mary, Mo.

Several others were injured in Perry County. In Jefferson County, Fire Chief Jay Katzenberger with the Jefferson R-7 Fire Protection District says there's a lot of clean up to be done.

"We have eight home that are completely destroyed, off the foundations or no home left at all. There are several that got tree damage and wind damage to 'em but there are eight that are completely destroyed." Katzenberger says there were only minor injuries in his district.

According to the National Weather Service temperatures were about 20 degrees above normal highs this weekend. Meteorologist Rachel Trevino says with moisture in place and a cold front moving in; conditions were ripe for tornadoes.

- A report from KWMUs Tom Weber, as aired on NPR.

Storm Deaths in Missouri
(Mar. 11-13, 2006)

Region County Name, city
Southeast Perry Michael Schaefer, St. Mary
Southeast Perry Barbara Schaefer, St. Mary
North-Central Randolph Billy Briscoe, Renick
North-Central Randolph Penny Briscoe, Renick
North-Central Randolph unidentified, Renick
North-Central Randolph unidentified, Renick
Central Pettis DeAnn Francis Solloman, Sedalia
Western Henry unidentified
South-West Lawrence unidentified, Marionville

Other

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