June 6, 2013

Winds Topping 70 MPH Wreak Havoc in Scotland County

Winds in excess of 70 mph downed power poles and trees and destroyed several outbuildings across Scotland County on Thursday afternoon. This shed on Route H, just off Highway 136 was damaged and numerous trees and power lines in the area were also downed.

With winds in excess of 70 mph, most of Scotland County is counting its blessings that the severe weather did not cause more damage across northeast Missouri on Thursday afternoon.

The quick-hitting storm arrived just before 3 p.m., with the driving winds out of the southwest playing havoc on power lines, trees, out buildings and roofs.

The Scotland County Sheriff's Office began receiving reports of damage at 2:51 p.m. In all, more than 60 storm-related calls were handled by dispatch. Deputy Bryan Whitney reported that the bulk of the calls dealt with road blockages caused by downed trees and power lines but added that six out buildings were reported damaged or destroyed by the winds.

That kept the Scotland County Road and Bridge Crew and the Missouri Department of Transportation busy clearing roadways of debris.

Kevin Wheeler of Tri-County Electric Cooperative reported the company had 22 poles damaged or destroyed by the storm in its service area. At the peak, approximately 1,100 customers were without power.

The City of Memphis experienced a brief power outage during the storm caused by downed tree limbs but service was quickly restored.

Tri-County was assisted by crews from Chillicothe and Trenton overnight and was able to have the last outages restored by 10 a.m. the following morning.

"We appreciate the patience displayed by our members as work crews restored service as quickly as possible in wake of the storm," Wheeler said.

American Family Insurance Agent Chris Harris indicated his office had handled a small number of claims, but mostly related to minor roof damage.

"These reports have a tendency to trickle in slowly after a storm like this, so there may be more that I am unaware of right now," Harris said. "But I haven't received any reports of major damage at this point."

That wasn't the case at Lake Show-Me in Memphis, where the winds flipped the handicapped-accessible fishing dock at the northeast end of the lake.

Superintendent Roy Monroe indicated repairs were underway on Monday. He added that several trees were downed at the lake, but the weather spared a number of campers parked at the campgrounds.

The National Weather Service classified the storms as straight lines winds, with radar and other measuring devices not signifying any tornadic activity in Scotland County.

That was not the case in Oklahoma City, where members of the Scotland County softball program were sent scrambling for storm shelters on Friday. Many of the team members and parents were in town to attend the NCAA College Softball World Series that weekend.

Tornadoes and flash flooding claimed the lives of 18 victims in Oklahoma City on Friday.

The bulk of the softball team and its entourage weathered the storm in Norman, in a shelter at the University of Oklahoma, as "guests" of former Memphis resident Nikki Webber Moore, who works as an associate athletic director for the university.

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