Missouri Twister Destroys Roscoe Fire Station

ROSCOE, Mo. (AP) -- Two violent storms moved through east central Kansas and west central Missouri Wednesday night and early Thursday, causing property damage and a few minor injuries.

Spotters and law enforcement officials reported seeing funnel clouds aloft and some touching down, and survey teams from the National Weather Service office in Springfield, Mo., were out checking the damage Thursday to determine if it was from tornadoes or straight-line winds. Gusts of up to 70 miles per hour were reported with some of the storms.

Sgt. Brandon Vaughan of the sheriff's department in Missouri's St. Clair County said a tornado touched down in the small community of Roscoe about 10:36 p.m., damaging or destroying several buildings and taking down trees.

``It destroyed the fire station, broke the windows in the fire truck, tore up a restaurant, destroyed a bait shop,'' he said. ``One of our deputies was in town when it hit. It tore up his patrol car.''

Vaughan said only one minor injury was reported, to a woman who went to a hospital on her own.

Earlier, on the Kansas side of the state line, a tornado touched down about 9:15 p.m., damaging some houses east of U.S. 69 between Pleasanton and Prescott, the Linn County Sheriff's Department said.

Joy Moser, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said two people who were in one of the homes struck by a tornado suffered minor injuries. It was not clear exactly how many houses were damaged by that tornado, she said, but it was on the ground for about seven miles in a rural area.

Steve Runnells, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield, said that a second suspected tornadic storm developed after midnight in Bourbon County, Kan., moving into neighboring Crawford County. A line of damage was reported from just north of Girard eastward into Arma, with large trees uprooted and pockets of minor strtuctural damage.

Runnels said the storm crosse the border into Missouri near Mindenmines in Barton County, with structural damage reported between Mindenmines and Iantha.

``Aside from that, we've got more than two dozen reports of hail from penny- to golf ball-size, as well as wind damage to trees and power lines across portion of southwest Missouri,'' Runnells said.

He said the recent storms were produced by a frontal boundary floating around the Midwest for a couple of weeks, with warm and unstable air to the south and disturbances passing across it from west to east. He said there was a moderate risk of additional severe storms.

``Very likely it will be another busy afternoon and evening, lasting even into the overnight hours,'' Runnells said.