A storm producing high winds and a tornado cut through northern Stone County near the towns of Wheelerville and Elsey.
The National Weather Service issued tornado watches for Stone and Taney counties between 2 and 8 p.m. on March 17. This watch turned into a warning for Stone County.
According to a release from Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader, the tornado ripped through northern Stone County on Wednesday night.
“We are thankful there are no injuries,” said the release. “What appears to be a tornado started at the Barry/Stone County line near Highway 248. It traveled past Elsey. Numerous homes are damaged, with trees and power lines down.”
The National Weather Service was out surveying the scene on Thursday, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Kelsey Angle.
“There was a tornado warning for the area at the time and the damage we are seeing is consistent with a tornado,” said Angle.
According to the National Weather Service’s official press release after their survey, the tornado was an EF-1 with speeds of 87 mph. The tornado had an intermitten path of 25 miles that was 75 yards wide. The tornado started at 5:30 p.m. five miles northeast of Eagle Rock and ended at 6:28 p.m. three miles south of Hurley. There were no fatalities or injuries but the tornado did uproot hardwood trees, removed shingles from a home and destroyed outbuildings.
“We had damage east of Wheelerville and damage near Elsey,” said Angle.
The Stone County Sheriff’s Office issued a second release Thursday morning after their office and Emergency Management did an assessment of damage from the tornado.
“Witness accounts watched the tornado form near PP highway,” states the second release. “It touched down east of PP at the end of Fiddlers lane in Barry County. It traveled east across Hwy 248 onto Wildcherry. It then traveled North up Falcon Drive before turning Northeast. It then went across to Elsey and over to Wheeler Branch.”
According to the first release from Rader, Northern Stone County Fire Protection District, Missouri Department of Transportation, and the Missouri Highway Patrol assisted Stone County officials.
“A big thank you to Northern Stone Fire, MODOT, Missouri Highway Patrol and the electric company for their quick response,” said the release.
For more information and updates go to the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/sgf/.