PLEASANT HILL, Mo. — March certainly came in like a lion in 2017. A very strong line of thunderstorms rolled through the KMZU listening area Monday night, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. KMZU’s Brian Lock had the opportunity to chat about the storm and its aftermath with National Weather Service Meterologist Jared Leighton. Click below to hear the full, edited interview.
“There was a pretty brief tornado that caused a decent amount of damage there in Carrollton,” Leignton told KMZU News. “That was rated an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with winds around 110-120 miles per hour. That occured Monday evening around 8:00, 8:30, but other than that, yeah, it was a pretty quick system moving through.”
Leighton went on to say that the worst of the damage was in the Oak Grove and Smithville areas.
“The most noteworthy tornado is probably the one that occurred in Oak Grove, that was an EF-3, and that occurred on Monday evening” Leighton added. “The other tornado that was most noteworthy was up in the Smithville area, which is in Clay in Clinton County. That was an EF-2, and that produced quite a bit of home damage in the Smithville Lake area out to Lathrop.”
Leighton described the situation as much better than it could have been, citing that there were not any fatalities or major injuries reported despite the tornadoes and winds in excess of 100 miles per hour in some places. Winds associated with the strongest cell, the EF-3 twister which tore through Oak Grove were recorded in excess of 150 mph.
“There [were] definitely more straight-line winds than tornadoes,” Leighton told KMZU. “Tornadoes are pretty isolated events so it is definitely a lot harder for tornadoes to affect more people than winds. Definitely lots of wind and more than average number of tornadoes across that area.”
Leighton added that the small number of injuries paired with no reported fatalities could be because people had preapared severe weather plans and were able to act quickly and safely, If you don’t have a severe weather preparedness plan in place, it is best to make one before it is too late.
Extensive and widespread damage has been reported with this storm. With our listeners’ help, KMZU created a gallery of some of the damage from the Carrollton area. Read the story and check out the pictures of the destruction.