MIDWEST Violent storms kill 10 in path of death, destruction
In Missouri, the governor declared a state of emergency.
RENICK, Mo. (AP) -- Homeowners across the Midwest were aghast Monday at nature's fury after a barrage of tornadoes, hail and rain left 10 people dead and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes.
"It's just amazing how devastating it is," said Mayor Tim Davlin of the Illinois capital of Springfield, which nevertheless escaped with no deaths or serious injuries. "It looks like the pictures we saw a couple months ago after Katrina."
Thousands of homes and business lost electricity over the weekend. The University of Kansas and numerous public schools closed Monday because of storm damage and power outages, and many Illinois state workers in the capital were told to stay home.
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt declared a state of emergency and authorized the National Guard to help with the cleanup. Nine of the dead were in Missouri. Among them were Billy and Pennie Briscoe, ages 60 and 57, whose friends begged them to leave their rural mobile home in Renick as the winds howled. Usually, when there was a storm, they would go to the nearby town of Moberly, but "this is the first time he stayed," said Bobby Twyman, a family friend.
The National Weather Service said there were as many as 110 reported instances of tornadoes touching down over the weekend in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Illinois. But the weather service said it could take two weeks to confirm those accounts.
Flooding produced one fatality in southern Indiana when a man drowned Sunday night near Owensburg after falling from a boat, officials said.