Tornado damage reported in Missouri as severe storms march across Midwest, Plains

Severe Thunderstorm Watches have been issued in several states as forecasters also warn of the potential for flash floods.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Powerful thunderstorms produced an apparent tornado Friday in Missouri, and forecasters warned that flash flooding is also possible in an area that has been hit by heavy rain most of the week.

According to the National Weather Service, a storm chaser reported a tornado near Russellville, Missouri. One chaser shared images with FOX Weather showing buildings and trees that had been damaged in the nearby town of Richmond. He tweeted that no one appeared to have been injured by the storm.

Austin Jones said he caught the tornado north of Richmond about 6 p.m. Friday. 

"It was completely wrapped in rain as it passed a half mile to my south," he said. "I did not gain visual until it had moved some distance away to the east."

The NWS will likely send a survey team to confirm if a tornado indeed caused the damage and determine its rating.


Flooding closed Missouri Highway 6 just west of Altamont, Missouri, according to a storm report from the NWS.

The NWS also said they were getting reports of widespread flash flooding in Kirksville late Friday evening. Numerous water rescues were ongoing just after 11 p.m. in and around the city. Water rescues were also needed at flooded roads in Spickard, Missouri and across the Iowa border in Keokuk. 

Missouri has already been pounded by torrential rain and dangerous storms several times this week. In many cases, the storms trained – moved over the same area multiple times – and led to very high rainfall amounts.

Columbia broke a 113-year-old rainfall record Thursday when 3.77 inches of rain fell on the central Missouri town.

Midwest, Plains remain under threat

Missouri isn’t the only place in the central U.S. seeing ferocious weather. Severe Thunderstorm Watches have been issued Saturday morning in Kansas and Oklahoma. 


Severe weather watches in effect.
(FOX Weather)


The storms marched east overnight and continues to dump heavy rain on some places that have been saturated this week. Flooding is a concern, especially in parts of Missouri and Illinois, where a Flood Watch was issued Friday.


A three-hour radar loop shows where storms are located. Tornado warnings are indicated in red. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are indicated in yellow. Flash Flood Warnings are indicated in green. Tornado and Flash Flood Emergencies are indicated in purple.
(FOX Weather)


Flooding was extreme across the South on Friday morning. Flash Flood Emergencies – the most serious of flood alerts – were issued in Kentucky and Tennessee, where a mobile home park was flooded. 

More storms are forecast in the Plains and Midwest on Saturday as a multiday severe weather threat unfolds across the northern tier of the U.S.