Feds Now Count More Than 600 Damaged Homes in Caruthersville

APRIL 6, 2006 - Posted at 11:51 a.m. CST

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO - A tornado that struck Caruthersville last weekend damaged or destroyed more than 600 homes in the Missouri Bootheel town.

Teams of state and federal disaster crews have completed their damage assessments in areas of Missouri affected by the storms.

Much of the most severe damage was in Pemiscot County and its county seat of Caruthersville.

Officials found 205 homes destroyed and 438 damaged in the city, for a total of 643.  Many of the homes were historic structures, some more than 100 years old.  Some 25 businesses were also damaged or destroyed in the city.

Another 152 homes were affected in Pemiscot County.

State emergency officials said clearing debris to allow utilities to restore power to Caruthersville residents is today's top priority.

Officials from the State Emergency Management Agency found more than 1,000 damaged buildings in Dunklin, Pemiscot and Stoddard counties in southeast Missouri, as well as Andrew, Ralls, Pettis, and St. Charles counties.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)