Weather News

Tornado touches down in Clay County, heads toward Excelsior Springs Hospital

A tornado touched down in Clay County Tuesday evening and was headed toward Excelsior Springs Hospital, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

“Excelsior Springs Hospital is very close to, if not in, the path of this tornado!” the weather service said on Twitter. “If you live on the north side of Excelsior Springs, take shelter now!”

The tornado was expected to arrive in Excelsior Springs about 8:20 p.m.

A tornado warning was issued about 8 p.m. for a portion of Clay County that included Excelsior Springs, Kearney and Lawson after radar indicated a tornado was in the area. The warning was to be in effect until 8:30 p.m.

Shortly after the warning was issued, the weather service reported that a tornado was confirmed near Missouri 33 on the south side of Kearney near the high school. A tornado was also reported near Mosby, Missouri.

At 8:20 p.m., the weather service said there could be two tornadoes on the ground. One was north of Excelsior Estates and the second was west of Excelsior Estates. The weather service was urging those who live or near the village in Clay and Ray county to take cover.

The weather service let the tornado warning expire at 8:30 p.m., saying there was no longer a tornado threat in the area.

While there were no active severe warnings in the Kansas City area, the weather service was monitoring the storm as it moved east through Ray County, Missouri.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” the weather service said on Twitter. “The tornado watch remains in effect until 10 p.m.”

Law enforcement officials reported there was significant tree damage along Missouri 92 near Route RA, which is near the Watkins Mill State Park, according to the weather service. Trees 8 to 12 inches in diameter were uprooted. Minor roof damage was being reported to houses and outbuildings in the area.

There were no injuries related to the tornadoes, according to Clay County Sheriff Capt. Will Akin, who is also the director of Emergency Management for Clay County.

Two or three homes in Kearney were damaged when lightning from the storms struck them. There were also about five other homes damaged by the tornadoes. Debris was reported in the county along with tree damage, he said.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.