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(AUDIO): Preliminary reports indicate deadly EF-2 tornado hit southeast Missouri

(AUDIO): Preliminary reports indicate deadly EF-2 tornado hit southeast Missouri

Missouri Governor Mike Parson and southeast Missouri first responders view video of tornado damage in Bollinger County on April 5, 2023 (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

The National Weather Service (NWS) says Wednesday’s deadly tornado that killed five people in southeast Missouri’s Bollinger County was an EF-2 with estimated peak winds of 130 miles per hour.

Governor Mike Parson says his heart goes out to the families of the five victims and to everyone impacted.

“First of all, you know our thoughts and prayers go out with the families. And then for the whole community to have to rebuild back up, there’s a lot to work to do down there but again it shows the best of Missourians coming together to help each other out in some of the most difficult times,” Parson says.

The governor also praises the work of first responders and utility crews on the ground. Parson says his administration will continue to use all available state resources to assist throughout the recovery process.

Meantime, the American Red Cross has opened a shelter in southeast Missouri’s Marble Hill to assist those impacted by Wednesday’s deadly tornado. The Red Cross is providing food and water and cots for those who need a place a sleep. Governor Parson tells 939 the Eagle that he appreciates President Joe Biden’s phone call after the tornado:

“He called and just wanted to know that if there was anything they could do to help, whatever those resources would be, he offered that for me as governor. And wanted to make sure and relay to the people down there, appreciated the work they was doing,” Parson says.

Missouri state troopers say 87 structures in Bollinger County have been damaged, with 12 of those destroyed.