In the early hours of Wednesday, a massive tornado ripped through southeastern Missouri, causing extensive destruction and claiming the lives of at least five individuals.
The Midwest and South regions were on high alert, watching for more storms that could produce additional twisters and hail, the Associated Press reported.
According to Sgt. Clark Parrott of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the tornado touched down at approximately 3:30 a.m. and swept through a rural area of Bollinger County, situated about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of St. Louis.
The tornado caused homes to be reduced to piles of debris, trees to be uprooted, and one building was overturned. Drone footage captured emergency personnel inspecting the wreckage with flashlight
Over 20 agencies participated in the search for survivors and casualties, as the damage caused by the tornado was so severe that chainsaws had to be employed to clear trees and brush and gain access to affected homes, as per Parrott.
Bollinger County Sheriff Casey A. Graham took to Facebook to announce that the tornado had inflicted substantial damage on the nearby small rural areas of Glen Allen and Grassy, with a hunting zone situated between the two communities.
According to Graham, the death toll has reached five people. He added that he would not disclose the names of the deceased to ensure that their families are informed first, as reported by the AP.
Written by staff