A “violent tornado” touched down in Jefferson City, Missouri, causing heavy damage Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The service reported that a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was observed over Jefferson City at 11:43 p.m. Wednesday, moving northeast at 40 mph (64 kph). The capital city is located 130 miles (209 kilometers) west of St. Louis.
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) May 23, 2019
No fatalities have been reported but Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams said they have received multiple calls of people being trapped in their homes.
“We are currently identifying the location of damages and searching for injured residents,” Lt. David Williams of the city’s police department said in a statement to the News-Tribune. “The primary need at this time is for those not affected to stay clear of the impacted areas so that Emergency personnel can assist those in need.”
“It’s a chaotic situation right now,” Williams said. “We need people who are not affected to stay out of those areas.”
Power outages are being reported in parts of the city.
“More dangerous severe weather — tornadoes and flash flooding —expected overnight,” according to a tweet from Missouri Public Safety.
The National Weather Service said it had received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday evening, although some of those could be duplicate reporting of the same twister.
One tornado skirted just a few miles north of Joplin, Missouri, on the eighth anniversary of a catastrophic tornado that killed 161 people in the city. The tornado caused some damage in the town of Carl Junction, about 4 miles (6.44 kilometers) north of the Joplin airport.
The Arkansas River was approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi Rivers were again rising after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of tornadoes. Forecasters predicted parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more severe weather Wednesday night into Thursday.