Northeast Missouri cleans up after brush with storms

Aaron Whelan, left, and Dustin Jarman lift up a section of roof Thursday from the sidewalk of the Ben Franklin store in the 100 block of South Main Street in Monroe City, Mo. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Apr. 18, 2013 4:47 pm Updated: May. 9, 2013 4:54 pm

Herald-Whig Senior Writer

PARIS, Mo. -- Steve Jones, the Monroe County, Mo., emergency management director, and a group of local storm watchers, firefighters and other emergency personnel were either celebrating or recovering on Thursday after a night of storm response.

"We had one home with slight damage and a couple of outbuildings damaged at that same place. Then we had outbuildings damaged at four other locations," Jones said.

There were about 30 people out watching for tornadoes or responding to problems. Jones was grateful the damage was not worse.

Officials from the National Weather Service are still trying to determine whether damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds. To those hit by the high winds, it doesn't make much difference, Jones said.

Monroe City crews and property owners were cleaning up damage in the downtown area. Power lines had been knocked down, some windows were broken, tree limbs blocked a few streets and shingles had to be replaced on a few rooftops.

C.J. Sands, manager of the Landing at Mark Twain Lake, was happy the recreation site did not have any wind damage.

"We just had heavy rain. The wind kind of skirted us," Sands said.

He reported 3 inches of rain Wednesday, and said the power was out from about 7 p.m. to about 1 a.m.

Other damage along Route J included an overturned travel trailer, a damaged grain elevator and a toppled power pole.

Schools in neighboring Shelby County were closed Thursday because of flooding on area roads. Officials were watching Thursday night rains to see how rivers and creeks would react.

Flooding was a bigger problem in Clarksville, Mo., where river levels were rising fast enough that volunteers were being sought.

"Right now we're trying to protect the town with a rock levee," City Clerk Jennifer Calvin said.

The town usually would be protected from rising water with a metal wall that can be held in place with sand. Calvin said mass care units from area Southern Baptist Church disaster teams had been called to town to help stop flooding. Disaster responders will bring a shower team and mass feeding team to Clarksville as well.

Alexandria, Mo., residents watched as the Missouri Department of Transportation blocked traffic on U.S. 61 on Thursday as floodwater covered pavement. The highway often is closed there, near the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Des Moines River.