High winds blast through Northwest Missouri

Thursday, August 9, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A violent line of thunderstorms rolled through northwest Missouri Wednesday night, blowing down trees and possibly spawning a small tornado.

The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill said it had reports of 60-70 mph winds in southern Atchison County and Nodaway and Harrison counties, downing power lines and large branches.

Rhonda Wiley, emergency management director for Atchison County, said there were power outages in parts of Fairfax, Rock Port and Tarkio and that U.S. 59 south of Fairfax was blocked from fallen trees and branches. She said no injuries had been reported.

She added that the straight-line winds also caused havoc for corn farmers.

"We have fields, some of them are just flattened, completely flattened," she said. "It's all going the same direction."

There was an initial report of a tornado being spotted in south Atchison County, but Wiley said she couldn't yet confirm whether it was a twister.

Julie Adolphson, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the storms came from a weather disturbance that had produced flooding and lightning-rich thunderstorms in Nebraska and Iowa over the last few days.

She said the system would move out of the state by early Friday, giving way to more dangerously high temperatures during the weekend and early next week.

"We feel this severe weather event is the last big storm we'll see for a while and then we'll return to the heat," Adolphson said.

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