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The Lake News Online
  • Owner of damaged Morgan County home sighted tornado

  • A Versailles area man says it was a tornado that flipped the deck onto the roof of his house in a severe storm May 20.
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  • A Morgan County man says it was a tornado that flipped the deck onto the roof of his house in a severe storm May 20.
    Cliff Marshall and wife Becky were at their home on the east side of Hwy. 5 at the north junction of Route TT south of Versailles during the storm that hit Morgan County Monday evening.
    Sitting in the living room watching TV around 7:30 p.m., Cliff says he looked out the large windows facing south and saw a funnel cloud coming from the south towards his home on the top of the hill.
    In another room unplugging things, Becky heard Cliff yell at her that they needed to get down into the basement. The couple made it to the basement.
    As they sheltered in their basement rec room, the storm sounded like an airplane roaring overhead, says Becky.
    After around 20 minutes, the Marshalls came up out of the basement, not knowing what damage had been done. In addition to trees and tree limbs down in the yard and across their driveway, they found a large section of the deck on the south side of the house flipped up onto the roof.
    Versailles Rural Fire Protection District responded to the scene and helped clear the road. The insurance adjuster was out at the home Tuesday morning to assess the damage.
    The Marshalls have lived at this location for two years.
    Damaging winds from the severe storm Monday evening knocked down trees and power lines throughout the area, leaving thousands in Morgan County and the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative service area without power overnight and on Tuesday.
    In addition to the report from the Marshalls, there were also reports of a tornado in the Ivy Bend area, according to Morgan County Emergency Management Director Rick Bias. These reports have not been confirmed at this time.
    Once the storm struck Monday evening, emergency crews and linemen stayed busy throughout the night responding to calls of trees and power lines down, but no injuries have been reported at this time.
    While the National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning for Morgan County, the 911 dispatch center did issue a tornado warning and sounded sirens as the storm blew through the area. The decision was made after 9-1-1 calls reporting a tornado being spotted as well as a trained, experienced weather spotter reporting a wall cloud in the southern portion of Morgan County, Bias said.
    Although the National Weather Service has access to data from Doppler radar, satellite, and surface weather stations, technology cannot detect every instance of hazardous weather. According to the National Weather Service, spotters help fill in the gaps by reporting hail, wind damage, flooding, heavy snow, tornadoes and waterspouts. Radar is one tool among many that NWS uses.
    Page 2 of 2 - Co-Mo reported crews working all night to restore power to more than 6,000 members. As of 11 a.m. more than 1,600 members were without electricity, including approximately 92 in the Versailles zip code, 286 in the Gravois Mills zip code, 212 in the Sunrise Beach zip code and 523 in the Stover zip code as well as scattered outages in other areas and a large outage at Tipton.
    About 5 percent of Co-Mo's service area was without power this morning.
    The cooperative had restored power to more than 4,000 members as of 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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