State Of Emergency Declared In Alabama As Goodman, Missouri, Ravaged By Tornado

Larry PapkeLarry Papke

Severe storms are battering Southeastern parts of the United States, wreaking havoc in multiple states. On Tuesday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the devastation that will be left once the storms clear.

“I have issued a State of Emergency as a precautionary measure to ensure state resources are on standby and are ready to assist impacted communities should the need arise. I also want to encourage individuals to stay weather aware and have a method to receive the latest weather alerts.”

Gov. Bentley has said that the National Guard will be deployed to the area to assist with disaster relief.

Goodman Mayor Greg Richmond confirmed that a second surge of storm formations culminated in the nearby state of Missouri when a tornado formed in the vicinity of the small city of Goodman on at 7:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 4. According to reports, the damage is severe, and the National Weather Service will be investigating to determine how much of the devastation was caused by the tornado.

The devastation after a tornado hit Missouri.
Bryant Carter, right, salvages items from a friend's tornado-damaged home after a severe storm passed through Oak Grove, Missouri. [Image by Charlie Riedel/AP Images]Featured image credit: Charlie RiedelCharlie Riedel

Meteorologist Henry Margusity, reporting for AccuWeather, said the cause of the second storm surge was due to a build up of warm and humid air.

“The severe weather threat includes the potential for tornadoes, some of which can be strong.”

Margusity confirmed that a tornado has been identified near Goodman, Missouri. According to Fox 23 News, the Goodman fire department, an apartment block, and an elementary school were significantly damaged.

Only one person has been taken to hospital for minor injuries, and no deaths have been reported so far. Goodman city officials were performing door-to-door checks to ensure that residents were unharmed.

In the district of Neosho, all schools will be closed until further notice. The mayor of Neosho, Richard Davidson, reported that the Hugh Robinson Memorial Airport sustained some damage and a light aircraft had been blown over.

Anderson Mayor John Sellers has appealed to residents to conserve water as the electricity supply to water towers in the area has been cut.

According to a Missouri power utility, New-Mac Electric Cooperative, technicians were working around the clock to restore electricity to Goodman.

A resident of Goodman and owner of Goodman Tyre and Auto, Meghan Sprenkle, described a personal account of the storm. After witnessing the progress of the storm on the news, Sprenkle went to Goodman to check on her business.

“‘We just barely missed it by probably a quarter of a mile. We were very lucky. It took off the roof a nearby apartment complex and there are probably hundreds of people in that complex,’ Sprenkle added.”

Ethan Pederson, 9, and his mom Susan Goodman clear away debris as they help salvage items from a friend's home that was destroyed by a tornado Tuesday, March 7, 2017, after a severe storm passed through Oak Grove, Mo., Monday night. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Featured image credit: Charlie RiedelCharlie Riedel

Deana Bunch drove to her family’s farm in Goodman to see if her mother and father were okay when she realized how violent the storm had been.

“We’re going to have to take all the barns down. They’re all gone. We’ve got the garage here, the big barn where my dad used to keep all his antique cars before he passed. They’re all gone. They had planted trees, 23 trees, one for each grandchild as they were born, and every one of them is wiped out. But mom’s OK. Sister is OK. Everything else is replaceable.”

Gregg Sweeten of the McDonald County emergency services said that first and secondary sweeps had been completed in the area as emergency responders assessed the extent of the damage.

“It appears as though we had a tornado touch down here on the west side of Goodman and pretty much traveled northeast across part of the city. So far we have been lucky. We haven’t had any major injuries or fatalities reported.”

A community center at New-Mac Cooperative has been set up in Anderson, and Goodman residents who have been affected by the damage have been urged to gather at the center, as confirmed by Sweeten, who also spoke about injuries and fatalities in the area.

[Featured image by Larry Papke/AP Images]