After a strong line of storms passed through the area Monday night, investigations continue to see if strong winds or a small tornado caused some of the damage in central and southern Cooper County.
For almost 45 minutes Cooper Cooper County and Boonville were under a tornado warning after a strong line of storms came through the area just before 10 p.m. The storms were known to produce very large hail, dangerously high winds and tornadoes. Upon the approach sirens were sounded. While a test of the sirens was done last Saturday, not everyone could hear certain sirens during the storm. Reports of at least one siren not sounding was received during the storm.
As the storm passed, Boonville, for the most part, was in the clear, even though rotation was reported over the city.
Damage was primarily reported south and southwest of the town. Individuals living along Old Concorde Drive awoke to damage to at least one home and several uprooted trees. Roy and Janice Cary took shelter as soon as the storm approached, but when the sun came up they realized the brunt of the damage in their backyard. Structures that were sound and well fashioned were now devastated. Even concrete flower containers were moved, including a steel pole that was broke in half. The Carys explained how they heard a sound they were not used to, a sound commonly heard from a passing train. Cary said the EMA along with other officials are trying to determine if a weak tornado came through.
Damage in Pilot Grove was also reported.
Ameren personnel spent much of Tuesday restoring power to parts of western Cooper County, including Otterville.
An official statement from Bunceton was also received regarding the storm.
“I know for us all that last night was a very scary situation and I am so thankful that no one was hurt and there was no major damage. I have been contacted by many concerning the siren. All of us with the city feel that this is very important for the protection of our families and Bunceton. We were hoping last year that the old siren was going to be able to be fixed but we found out that it is beyond repair. The last several months we have been working with several agencies on possible grants and funding for a new siren,” the statement read.
The statement also explained how Bunceton officials continue to work with Cooper County officials for a replacement.
“So I want everyone to know that we have been working on the replacement of the siren and that we too feel that it is very important to have it back up and running,” the statement ended.
More information will be released as it become available.