Tornado damage in Missouri. Photo via KRCG Twitter

“Violent tornado” pounds Jefferson City, Missouri, causing extensive damage

What the National Weather Service calls a “violent tornado” hit Jefferson City, Missouri, late Wednesday night, leaving extensive damage and downed power lines.  All available first responders were being called to the city, Missouri’s state capital.

Authorities said nine people were in area hospitals with storm-related injuries Wednesday morning.

Gov. Mike Parson praised first responders who worked through the night to free people from homes ripped apart in the storm.

Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams said 20 people were rescued by emergency personnel. There were no reports of anyone unaccounted for.

The weather service said a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was seen over Jefferson City at 11:43 p.m. Wednesday, moving northeast at 40 mph. The city, with a population of about 40,000, is 30 miles west of St. Louis.

“More dangerous severe weather – tornadoes and flash flooding -expected overnight,” according to a tweet from the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Three people were killed as a suspected twister hit the Golden City area of Barton County in southwest Missouri Wednesday night. That’s not far from Joplin, where a catastrophic tornado leveled much of the city and killed 161 people exactly eight years ago.

The weather service said it had received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday evening, although some of those could have been duplicate reporting of the same twisters.

The Jefferson City tornado hit during a week that has seen several days of tornadoes and torrential rains in parts of the Southern Plains and Midwest. CBS News confirmed four deaths related to those earlier storms.

CBS Jefferson City affiliate KRCG-TV obtained images of the large funnel:

Author: CBS News