Suspected tornado damages school, fire house in Missouri

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2017 10:34 AM

GOODMAN, Mo. (AP) — Damage assessments are underway Wednesday in southwest Missouri after a possible tornado damaged several buildings, including a fire station and elementary school.

One person was hospitalized with a possible broken ankle, but no deaths or serious injuries have been reported in the storm that hit around 7 p.m. Tuesday in Goodman. The small town is about 30 miles south of Joplin, where an EF-5 tornado killed 161 people in May 2011.

A National Weather Service crew is working to determine whether a tornado was responsible for the damage and power outages, NWS meteorologist Mark Burchfield said.

Deana Bunch told The Joplin Globe she was checking on her 78-year-old mother, who was unable to make it to the basement before the storm hit Goodman, damaging barns on her property so badly that they will have to be removed.

"They had planted trees, 23 trees, one for each grandchild as they were born, and every one of them is wiped out," Bunch said, adding that she was grateful her sister was with her mother and that both are OK. "Everything else is replaceable."

McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall said the roof of the fire station was taken off and that a wall of the school was toppled. Hall also estimated that one or two dozen homes sustained damage.

In the nearby community of Neosho, minor damage was reported at the airport, including an aircraft being blown over.

A Neosho School District school was damaged by the storm and the district canceled all classes Wednesday. A call to the district wasn't immediately returned.

There also were scattered reports of large hail and other damage in an area that includes Springfield and south-central Missouri, Burchfield said.