Violent Tornado Strikes Jefferson City, Mo., in Night of Storms Across Region – The New York Times

Less than two hours later, Mr. Parson wrote on Twitter, “We’re doing okay but praying for those that were caught in damage, some are still trapped — local emergency crews are on site and assisting.”

A still image taken from video showing a tornado in Carl Junction, Mo., on Wednesday.

CreditChris Higgins, via Associated Press

In Jefferson City, officials said that roughly three square miles had been especially hard-hit and that flying trees and debris were responsible for some of the at least 20 injuries that had been tallied in the capital.

“This is an ongoing situation,” Lt. David Williams of the Jefferson City police said Thursday morning. “We realize there is a lot of work that we still have to do. Daybreak is just now starting to happen.”

Missouri Task Force One, an elite search-and-rescue unit that can be summoned for the nation’s worst natural disasters, was at work in Jefferson City on Thursday morning, and the Fire Department said all of its firefighters had been “called back.”

“Please Pray for our Citizens,” the department wrote on Facebook.

[Go inside one of the specialized search-and-rescue task forces that emergency officials can deploy across America.]

The National Weather Service warned of heavy rainfall over central Missouri. A flash-flood watch was in effect, and parts of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers were flooding, it said.

The storms on Wednesday hit on the eighth anniversary of a tornado that killed 161 people in Joplin, Mo., one of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in American history.

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