Storms damage New Madrid Historical Museum - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Storms damage New Madrid Historical Museum

By Crystal Britt - bio | email

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Severe storms blew through Heartland Wednesday night.

The Heartland News storm chasing began near the Matthews, MO exit off Interstate 55.

Storm clouds rolled overhead as lightening crashed.

Wind blew dirt and dust at our camera, nearly knocking it over.

Driving southbound on I-55, the rain was fierce.

Wind blew tree limbs in lanes and knocked over road construction signs.

Ahead at mile marker 50, a semi truck was blown into the median tipping it on its side.

Officers tell Heartland News the driver escaped with minor injuries.

In Libourn, Missouri were reports of power outages and trees down.  Police say wind ripped a porch off a house on 4th Street.

In New Madrid, there were several flooded roads. But an even bigger problem was just ahead downtown at the New Madrid Historical Museum.  High winds ripped the roof off the main part of the building.

"I was the first person in the building and noticed roof damage," said Riley Bock. "The front doors were open and there was about 3-4 inches of water."

Inside the museum, it's a dripping wet mess.

Volunteers worked quickly to get artifacts, some dating back to the 1780's, to the dry part of the building.

"It's quite a collection, we've been at it since 1974," said Bock. 

It's hard to tell at this point what all is lost, and what can be saved.

"Paper photographs are stained, those will be water damaged," said Bock. "Cases will need to be aired out. There's a lot of work ahead, and we're going to be closed for a while in the best part of our year."

Heartland News learned Service Master was called in to start the clean up process at the museum Wednesday night.

No word on just how long the museum will be closed, and exactly what priceless pieces of history are lost.

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