Tornado strikes Republic

A Republic tornado was one of six in the area to touch down in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 1. There were no local reports of injuries from the powerful weather event, but damage, in and around Republic was apparent.
At 12:48 a.m. all 14 sirens in Republic sounded a tornado warning. Officials, led by Republic’s Director of Emergency Management Lynn Hollandworth, had been monitoring the situation prior to the official tornado warning.
Hollandworth reports that while there were no injuries as a result of the EF-1 rated twister, there were two major buildings destroyed, as well as numerous trees and signs.
One destroyed building was the lumber warehouse at Meek’s on U.S. Highway 60 in Republic; the other was a large barn at 1590 State Highway 174, approximately one mile west of city limits.
Hollandworth added that the FEMA shelter at Sweeny Elementary was opened by the school resource officers before the warnings were issued.
Although no tornado spotters or individuals reported actually seeing a tornado, the determination of its validity was made by the National Weather Service by the evidence from the impact damage in the county west of the city on Farm Road 188.
The National Weather Service estimates the peak wind speed in Republic was 95 miles per hour. The path of the tornado was two and a half miles long, and 60 yards wide. The tornado originally began approximately three miles west of Republic.
Damage could also be seen along U.S. Highway 60 in Republic, where numerous business signs were blown out, including signs at Wendy’s, Sonic, Big Whiskey’s, Republic Shopping Center and Macadoodles.
Downed power lines and power poles also led to a widespread power outage for thousands of power customers into the daylight hours.
Other EF-1 tornadoes were confirmed near Billings, Monett and Seymour. Another was blamed for one fatality in Aurora, where it demolished the western end of the Aurora Inn Motel. An EF-0 was also confirmed near Hartville.



Lawrence County Record

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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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