March 16, 2006

Tornado Reported In Arbela Area

It was Sunday the 12th not Friday the 13th. But the March weekend proved pretty scary across the Midwest, particularly in Missouri. The NAOO National Weather Service tracked a total of 110 reports of tornadoes in the 24-hour period, the bulk of which hit Missouri, including one in Scotland County.

At 8:58 p.m. the National Weather Service Doppler Radar indicated a tornado near Arbela, or about eight miles east of Memphis. The storm was moving east at approximately 55 mph and threatened Chambersburg and Ashton as well as Medill. The radar sighting led to a tornado warning being issued for Scotland and Clark counties until 9:15 p.m. that evening.

The Scotland County Fire Department responded to the Michael Kraus residence near Arbela after the home owner reported the storm had damaged his homeís roof. No injuries were reported.

The incident culminated a busy night for local emergency service personnel who volunteered their time as storm spotters.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. the volunteers met at the fire station and dispersed across the county in an attempt to provide early warnings for the community in the event of a tornado or other threatening condition.

The entire region was under a tornado watch, meaning conditions were ripe for such storms.

Earlier in the day, a huge tornado hit central Missouri, causing extensive damage and one fatality in the Sedalia area.

Storm spotters reported golf-ball sized hail in the Brock area at around 8:30 p.m. High winds were reported across the area, and the Gorin Fire Department storm spotters reported two dangerously high periods of wind during their two-hour watch.

But when morning broke, reported damage was limited to the one residence in Arbela. The weather service indicated that 1.1 inches of rain was recorded in Memphis.

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