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Third wave of storms hits

Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and several other states bore the brunt of a third wave of violent weather.

BY DANIEL YEE | BALTIMORE | May 8, 2003


"We've had tornadoes before but we haven't had this many this close together in a long time."

—Susie Stonner


Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and several other states bore the brunt of a third wave of violent weather that spawned tornadoes and large hail Thursday night.

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden is requesting that 14 more counties be added to a federal disaster declaration of 39 counties from Sunday's storms.

And storms warnings were continuing Thursday night, with emergency officials trying to get new warnings out to people with communications downed by the last two rounds of severe weather.

Officials are using every means possible such as messages via HAM radio operators to provide storm warnings to those in areas without communications, said Susie Stonner, spokeswoman for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency.

"I've been with the state for 10 years," Stonner said. "We've had tornadoes before but we haven't had this many this close together in a long time. We've got more severe weather coming."

Hardest hit from Tuesday's storms were Desoto, Mo. in Jefferson County, and Jackson, Mo., in Cape Girardeau County. In Desoto, storms including a tornado collapsed the gym room of Desoto Junior High School and destroyed seven homes and damaged more than 140 others.

In Jackson, Mo. in Cape Girardeau County, where county workers have removed nearly 69,000 pounds of debris. A church and 40 homes in Pulaski County were damaged.

Despite the devastation, relief organizations have provided help.

"The volunteer agency response has just been overwhelming - everyone has pulled in and worked together," Stonner said.

Several people have relocated to a shelter by the Immaculate Conception Church and the American Red Cross in Jackson has established at least 10 other shelters in schools and churches in affected areas. The Salvation Army also has provided about 500 meals to residents.

Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief have expanded mobile and fixed meal programs in all of the hardest hit areas, the agency said.

Debris removal teams have been deployed by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Mennonite Disaster Services. United Methodist Committee on Relief and Church World Service also have deployed staff to affected areas, and the Humane Society of the United States and Emergency Animal Rescue Services are looking after animal welfare needs, the state agency added.


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Tornado hits Michigan town

Tornadoes tear through Illinois and Midwest


More links on Tornadoes

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