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Sunday storms and tornado hit rural Pulaski County, knock out power
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (July 12, 2010) — A Sunday afternoon tornado and accompanying high winds knocked out power to numerous homes and businesses around Pulaski County, and left significant storm damage throughout the northern end of the county.

According to a report by Pulaski County Emergency Management Director Lawson Smith, power was knocked out in the Waynesville, Buckhorn, Swedeborg and Richland areas. A funnel cloud was sighted in Crocker near Highway 133 at 3:35 p.m., with a tornado warning being paged out at 3:47 p.m. Emergency storm shelters were opened by 4 p.m. at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Waynesville and at Grace Baptist Church in Richland.

Western District County Commissioner Ricky Zweerink said part of his district in Swedeborg and Crocker was heavily damaged by the storms.

“It tore the thunder out of things up there,” Zweerink said. “T Highway south of Swedeborg is where it really went through, where they call the Slick’s Mill area on Riverside Drive.”

Zweerink said the power was still out Monday morning in that area with numerous power poles and phone poles knocked down.

“It will take two weeks to clean it all up and there’s more on the way, they said,” Zweerink said.

No injuries have been reported so far, but there’s extensive property damage.

Smith’s report indicated trees and wires down on VFW Circle in St. Robert and in the Skyview Heights apartment complex on Highland Woods Drive in Waynesville, a steel shed in the roadway on Highway U northwest of Crocker, a storage building moved on Stagecoach Drive in Hunter’s Point south of Waynesville, and damage to barns and homes on the 24000 grid of Rockport Road, the 18000 grid of Rural Road, and the 20500 grid of Highway T south of Swedeborg, as well as on Reporter Road between Waynesville and Richland. Trees across roads were reported on Highway A west of Richland and on Reporter Road.

In addition, high water due to heavy rainfall closed the low water crossings on Highway H and Dyer Road in Waynesville.

Zweerink and Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham both said their road crews spent many hours cleaning up storm damage on Sunday to reopen the roads.

“My guys worked till midnight to get the roads open and they started right back at 6 a.m.; they cut up a lot of trees to get the roads open enough for traffic to get through,” Farnham said. “We had one tree so large on Lexington Road, it was huge, and they went down again this morning to cut it up. It was a monster.”

Zweerink said his road crews worked until 9 p.m. Sunday and were given the choice of coming in at 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. due to expected hot weather today.

“I left it up to them; it’s going to be really hot today,” Zweerink said.

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