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story.lead_photo.caption Volunteers including John Putnam, left, Chris Thompson, Kenny Ford, Jim Keyes and Kim Keyes fill sandbags to protect Amvets Post 153. The sacks and the first load of sand were donated by the Missouri Department of Transportation, said Mary Ann Fritz. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

While some people huddled in their bathtubs during Tuesday evening's wild weather, power crews were already thinking about how to help their customers.

"We worked most of the night, but we had everyone back on this morning," said Clint Smith, assistant manager of Callaway Electric Cooperative. "They had a long night."

Workers were sent home to nap, but were to return to their stations to perhaps put in another long night repairing storm damage expected Wednesday evening.

National Weather Service officials sent a survey team to look at a site near Yucatan, an unincorporated area at the intersection of Route D and County Road 134 south of Prairie Fork Conservation Area. A spokeswoman said they found evidence of an EF-1 tornado, with a wind speed of about 100 miles per hour. The Fujita scale said EF-1 tornadoes typically do minor damage to roofs, gutters and siding, break tree branches, and shallow-rooted trees can be pushed over.

Much of the damage was reported on the north/northwest side of Fulton. Gretchen Pani, who owns a farm with her husband, Doug, midway between Fulton and Kingdom City, said she was on the phone with her insurance company much of Wednesday morning. Huge branches crashed into a corner of her house, pieces of her barn roof were gone or wrapped around a guy wire, and she lost a beloved 100-year-old apple tree.

"It was one of those you can't replace," she said.

Fulton city workers also were busy restoring service on the north side of town. A circuit serving 500 meters went down in the storm due to lightning or wind, according to a city official.

"We had multiple reports of downed trees, utility lines down, and some structure damage, primarily in the eastern part of the county," Sheriff Clay Chism said. "Deputies and road/bridge crews responded to various county roadways for reported traffic hazards from downed trees."

Smith added there were 380 Callaway Electric customers affected by Tuesday's storm.

"We were at every substation but one," he said, adding power was restored by 2 a.m.

No reports of injuries were made. According to Accuweather, there were 33 tornadoes reported Tuesday, mostly in Missouri and Kansas. Four fatalities reported included two deaths in Springfield and one each in Iowa and Oklahoma.

People planning Memorial Day activities should check to see that those activities are still on. The Salute to Veterans Airshow planned Saturday and Sunday at the Jefferson City airport was canceled Tuesday.


By Wednesday evening, Mokane residents were eyeing the rising waters and making dire references to the record-setting Flood of 1993, when the Missouri River crested at 38.6 feet. As the water rose over the course of Wednesday, it overflowed into fields and crept up onto a curve of Missouri 94, brown and turbulent.

The soaked ground and additional rain predicted for Wednesday night promised to worsen the situation.

A team of volunteers, including South Callaway Fire Protection District members, locals and even some folks from Fulton, gathered at the Amvets Post 153 building to fill sandbags.

"In '93 it was in this building," Dale Laughlin said. "It was on that street (Broad Street) up there, and up to the second step of that grocery store on the corner."

He pointed out a new, unfinished addition to the building, which the volunteers hoped to protect.

"We got everything out of the Lions Hall last night, and they're cleaning out the Mokane Bar and Grill now," his daughter, Mary Ann Fritz, added.

Though the floods might make life inconvenient for those who live closest to the river and regularly travel along Missouri 94, most of the volunteers didn't sound too worried.

"We have a good handle on it," Kim Keyes said, tying off a sandbag.

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