It appears dire, but this car squashed by a tree Monday night in Carterville can probably be repaired. – Kathy Sidenstricker photos

Nearly 1,000 residents seek protection in community tornado shelters

Bob Foos

Webb City was spared again – for the most part – when weak tornados and strong winds left trails of uprooted trees and damaged houses to the west.

Remains of the Monday-night storm stretch from the south part of Joplin, past Range Line Road, to Duquesne and Duenweg. Carthage received damage on the west side of town and downtown, where trees were damaged at Central Park and on the square.

Tornado sirens were sounded in Webb City Monday night for the second time in May. The first time was the afternoon of Thursday, May 2, when a small tornado struck a Carl Junction neighborhood north of Airport Drive.

Nearly 1,000 Webb Citians went to the community shelters Monday night.

Police Chief Don Melton, the city’s emergency management director, reports that 934 people were in the five community tornado shelters.

The shelters were opened at 10:45 p.m., and the sirens were activated at 11:35 p.m. It was all clear and the shelters were closed at midnight.

Headcounts in the shelters were: Madge T. James Kindergarten Center, 110; Cardinal Dome, 408; Crowder College, 109; Carterville Elementary, 105, and Truman Elementary, 202.

To be safe, the time to go to a shelter is during a watch, not after the sirens have gone off.

“We do not open as soon as a tornado watch is posted,” Melton clarifies. “We monitor the weather and open the shelters when it appears that we are in the direct path of a tornado warned storm or storm with 75 plus mph winds.”

The shelters were opened again at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday as a tornado sighted in Miami, Okla., was headed into Missouri. Schools delayed diamisal until 3 p.m.

The sirens weren’t activated because Melton said Webb City wasn’t in the direct path of the tornado or within the polygon of the warning.

Here’s another view of the tree uprooted in Carterville that damaged a car and nearby house.