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Twisters rake Midwest

BY SUSAN KIM | Baltimore, MD | April 11, 2001

"In Missouri, the city of Warrensburg, in Johnson County, was cleaning up after a tornado touched down, damaging 150 homes."

—Missouri Emergency Management Agency

Tornadoes damaged homes and caused injuries across many states in the central U.S. as a huge and dangerous storm system moved across the region Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Missouri, the city of Warrensburg, in Johnson County, was cleaning up after a tornado touched down, damaging 150 homes. Blown-off roofs, shattered windows, and ripped trees littered the streets, according to reports from the sheriff's department. About a dozen people were injured.

Buildings on the campus of Central Missouri State University were also damaged. An emergency shelter was set up at the Warrensburg United Methodist Church.

Emergency management teams from the city and county were assessing damages with assistance from the American Red Cross, said Susie Stonner, public information officer for the Missouri Emergency Management Agency.

More storms also hit Kansas hard Wednesday, one state in a line of damage that stretched from Texas to Nebraska. A tornado touched down in Plainville, KS, damaging about 79 homes, according to Joy Moser, public information officer for the Kansas Emergency Management Agency. A twister that hit near the town of Rolla destroyed barns and fencing in nearby Cloud and Smith counties.

In Texas, a twister damaged several homes in the town of Spearman. As the system passed through Oklahoma, two possible tornadoes struck near Elmwood, damaging five homes, according to Beaver County Sheriff Bill Cassingham. Another Oklahoma tornado in Coalgate killed one person and injured another.

Funnel clouds were also reported in southern Nebraska, where high wind knocked down trees and power lines.

Meanwhile a powerful spring blizzard struck Colorado and Wyoming Wednesday in what forecasters called the worst storm of the year. Hundreds of miles of major highways were shut down.

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