Hail damage from storms reported in Scott Co.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Storms that moved through the area early Tuesday night dumped large hail on Scott and Stoddard counties.

Scott City Police Lt. Dave Leemon said Wednesday the police department received only one call about a smashed windshield, but heard information about several vehicles in town having windows smashed from massive hail that swept through the area around 6:30 p.m.

Leemon said some officers in the department reported seeing hail as large as baseballs in parts of the city. Most of the hail was confined to the area south of Main Street, Leemon said.

Orley Jackson owns a used car lot south of Main Street in the Illmo area of the city. Jackson said out of his 50 cars, between six and 10 of them were damaged, some with windshields smashed in from the hail. Jackson also said a neighbor had the roof of his home damaged and the windshield smashed out of his pickup truck.

"I've seen that kind of damage, but I've never seen hail that big," said Jackson. "It would have totaled everything but some of the hail was flat instead of round."

Jackson said he personally observed hail as big as hen's eggs on the ground.

Scott County Sheriff's Department communications officer Tawana Presley was working when the storm went through the area. Presley said hail was reported from Morley to Scott City, ranging in size from peas in Morley to quarters in Benton to marbles in Scott City. Some roads in the northern section of the county were covered in hail, and a tractor-trailer jackknifed on Interstate 55 just north of the Scott City exit, she said. No injuries were reported from the hail, Presley said.

The National Weather Service received reports of hail in at Swinton, Sturdivant, Puxico, Bloomfield and Advance in Stoddard County; Oran, Benton, Chaffee and Kelso in Scott County. The National weather service called the storm the "first local severe weather event of 2007." The storms formed in Southeast Missouri and spread into western Kentucky and Southern Illinois. Hail was reported in both of those regions, as well, according to weather service reports.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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