Gov. Parson tours storm damage in Pemiscot Co.; 2 confirmed deaths in Mo., hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed

Gov. Mike Parson toured storm damage in Pemiscot County, Mo. on Sunday, Dec. 12.
Gov. Mike Parson toured storm damage in Pemiscot County, Mo. on Sunday, Dec. 12.(Source: KFVS)
Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 4:52 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2021 at 12:57 PM CST
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PEMISCOT COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - Governor Mike Parson toured storm damage in Pemiscot County and in the Defiance community on Sunday, December 12.

These communities and others were impacted by severe storms that produced tornadoes on Friday night.

During his visit to a home near Hayti, that was significantly damaged, Gov. Parson said this rural community south of Scott County and others across the state will rebuild.

According to the governor’s office, the storms killed at least two people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and buildings, based on initial assessments.

Exact numbers have not been released.

A woman was killed at home in St. Charles County and two others were hospitalized.

They said in Pemiscot County, a young child was killed at home and at least nine people were taken to the hospital.

According to the Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Office, the child died in a single-family home off of Highway J in Braggadocio, Mo. The child’s mother, father and two younger siblings were injured in the storm.

In addition, a semi-truck driver on I-55 and a driver on Missouri Route 84 were killed in Pemiscot County.

According to the Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Office, the driver on Route 84 died after he unknowingly drove into the storm.

According to the state, those deaths remain under investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Governor Mike Parson and members of his emergency management team will be in Defiance, Mo. around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, and then Pemiscot County communities around 12:20 p.m. to assess storm and tornado damage in the regions and visit impacted Missourians.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life caused by this powerful-sustained storm system, and we are praying for the family and friends of those we have lost,” Governor Parson said. “The deadly tornadoes that swept through Missouri and neighboring states are a reminder that strong storms can take lives when people are at home or at work. I am grateful that our state and local response agencies along with the National Weather Service communicated the threat these storms posed early and were prepared to respond last night. Our state team members stand ready to assist and will be working with local partners to assess the damage in the coming days.”

According to the governor’s office, the state emergency operations center remained activated on Saturday.

Through the overnight hours, the National Weather Service issued a total of 31 tornado warnings for Missouri. NWS assessment teams are in the field surveying storm damage and will determine EF tornado ratings.

Electric utility crews are continuing to work to restore power after outages peaked overnight with at least 30,000 customers without power. Outage figures have already been reduced to below 7,000, as of Saturday afternoon.

“I want all Missourians who have been affected to know that my office and all of state government stands ready to assist them, and we are going to be on the ground in areas most impacted to learn just how best to do that,” Governor Parson said. “We express our appreciation to the first responders, utility crews, and teams of volunteers who continue to work quickly to save lives, remove debris, and restore power.”

According to the state, the Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to help local authorities in St. Charles County and southeast Missouri.

Troopers helped with door-to-door searches and highways and road closures.

The Missouri Department of Transportation helped with clearing debris and reopening highways.

Earlier on Saturday, Governor Parson and governors from other impacted states spoke with President Joe Biden to coordinate state and federal resources for communities affected by Friday’s severe weather and tornadoes.

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