Storm brings funnel cloud but little damage to county

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Strong winds, hail the size of a quarter and heavy rain hit Cape Girardeau and parts of Cape Girardeau County Wednesday afternoon, causing some flooding but otherwise doing little damage.

Jerry Siemers, a weather spotter, reported a funnel cloud near County Road 208 south of Gordonville and north of Dutchtown, said Charlie Griffith, deputy director of the Cape Girardeau County Emergency Preparedness office.

"He said he could see a cloud rotation come down, but he was not certain it touched the ground it was raining so hard," Griffith said.

Most of the storm apparently was centered on the city of Cape Girardeau. KFVS-TV weather staff reported almost nine-tenths of an inch of rain in their rain gauge on Broadway during the downpour that lasted less than 30 minutes.

A dispatcher at the sheriff's department reported some rain but no storm activity, and Griffith said only about a half inch of rain fell at the emergency preparedness office in Jackson. The storm was heavier, he said, in the southern part of Cape Girardeau County.

Griffith said that the rain gauge at his home, which he emptied in the morning, showed a rainfall of 1 1/4 inches during the afternoon storm.

In Scott County, however, sheriff's deputies said there was no storm at all.

Tim Gramling, director of Cape Girardeau's Public Works Department, said his office received reports of some flooding on city streets, but the water was quickly receding.

"It's been spotty throughout town," Gramling said. "Mostly what hit us was coming from the west."

Water was reported over the road briefly at Amblewood, Christine, Bloomfield and Lexington streets, said Gramling and the Cape Girardeau Police Department. Also, the north side of Silver Springs Road at Themis Street was closed temporarily due to flooding.

The storm was as fast-moving as it was severe. Within minutes of its passing through, the severe thunderstorm watch issued by the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., was canceled. The tornado watch issued for the area was also canceled.

No storm-related injuries were reported.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, ext. 160

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