Five people in a trailer died when a tornado sucked it away

BOLLINGER COUNTY, Mo. — A tornado left a mile-long path of destruction in its wake around 3 a.m. Wednesday, killing five people. Weeping relatives stand on the site of a former trailer home in Bollinger County.

One man, who asked not to be identified, detailed how he found his five loved ones swept far from their home and even had last words with one of them. He said two of the victims were 18 and 15 years old.

Search and rescue efforts continue in the area, now being toured by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. Even the nearby house has disappeared, the roof thrown onto the next lot and the foundation no longer visible. The tornado’s hit for emergency responders increased the challenge of urgent search and cleanup efforts.

“… seven neighbors, no one knows where they are; four of them are missing,” said David McCormick, a storm survivor.

As of Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement confirmed five dead, five injured and 87 buildings damaged, 12 of which were completely destroyed.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott described the difficulty of just moving down the roads.

“Once we’ve cleared the streets, we’ll continue to go door-to-door to make sure everyone in this county is accountable,” Parrot said.

“There aren’t even words to describe it; It all happened so fast,” said Shelby Davidson, a storm survivor.

Five giant trees were uprooted in a front yard, a child’s bicycle was surrounded by splintered tree debris and many power lines were shut down.

Davidson now pointed to the wreckage and said: “This is her car and our house. It’s just a complete wreck.”

Some citizens took shelter in a church without clapboards and siding while sharing stories of survival.

“Then my fiancé was outside in the bathtub with the mattress on,” one person said.

Damage was visible for miles along Highway 34, and groups of search parties were searching for possible injured tornado victims as another storm approached. It started raining again with thunderbolts and loud thunderbolts making you wonder what’s next.

A busted gas line resulted in a road closure and popping noises, followed by a small contained fire in the middle of the action.

A St. Louis County search and rescue team made the 90-mile journey to assist. Emergency responders from St. Charles County also joined to help. Sikeston, Missouri brought his mobile command from a distance of 40 miles.

“We all come together when things like this happen,” Parrott said.

“The first responders were fantastic,” McCormick said. “The county, the state, the Highway Patrol. Just unbelievable.”

It was even more noticeable when an emergency response operations center was gone. The FOX 2 team had come across a hat, jackets and boots hidden in a pile of debris, suggesting an emergency response base was located there. Five people in a trailer died when a tornado sucked it away

Sarah Y. Kim

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