Loki Luv, MD° (no login) Posted Mar 1, 2012 12:53 AM
The worst of those storms leveled much of Joplin, Mo., just east of several of the communities where people were digging out on Wednesday.
In one of them, Buffalo, Mo., a trailer park suffered a direct hit just after midnight. The dozen homes were scattered and splintered, many with their startled residents still inside. One person was killed and another 13 were injured, some seriously. One of the trailers caught fire during the rescue operation.
It looks more like a war zone than a tornado path, said Lt. Dana Egan of the Dallas County Sheriffs Office, who described the scene.
Two deaths were reported elsewhere in Missouri, in Cassville and in Puxico, where Judy Richard, 59, the owner of a local grocery store, said that her cousins house, about seven miles away, was destroyed. Their house looks like a bunch of matchsticks out there, she said.
Branson, Mo., a popular tourist draw known for its country-themed shows, also was hit by a tornado, rated an EF2, which damaged the waterfront area, hotels and some of the citys signature music venues as it moved up the main drag through the heart of the tourism district.
The Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson reported that 37 people were treated for injuries starting at 2 a.m. The storm system hit first in Harveyville, Kan., where a tornado carved a narrow path through the community on Tuesday night, hospitalizing six people, destroying about a dozen homes and erasing the familiar outline of the Harveyville United Methodist Church, said the Rev. Dennis Irwin.
My wife looked up, and the church wasnt there, Mr. Irwin said. It was almost surreal. Youre expecting to see this beautiful white church, and its a pile of rubble. It didnt look real. I kept thinking this didnt really happen, but Im starting to realize that it is real.