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January Storm Brings Needed Rain, Little Damage

A January thunderstorm passed through this region Tuesday afternoon, generating tornado warnings in Taney County and resulting in almost 2½ inches of needed rainfall in the Ava area.

Ava/Douglas County EMA Director Billy Long reported 2.34 inches of rain but no storm damage other than a lightning strike east of Ava.

Ava Rural and City of Ava fire departments were dispatched to a residence on VV Highway that was hit by lightning during the storm. Damage to the house was contained to one wall and no one was hurt.

Long said the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for this area before noon Tuesday. All area schools were notified, along with major employers.

As the storm rolled into the area later in the afternoon, area fire departments were notified to activate weather spotters, and the Ava Performing Arts Center, a FEMA approved storm shelter, was opened. No violent or dangerous weather was reported in any part of the county, however, other than heavy rain and lightning.

Some roads were closed due to flash flooding Tuesday night, and the Ava-Salem basketball game was moved to the middle school gym when the heavy rain found a leak in the high school gymnasium roof. That leak was around a rooftop air-conditioning unit, however, and did not result from damage associated with the storm.

In the meantime, the Ava High School girls’ basketball team was scheduled to play at Forsyth Tuesday night. But when the tornado warning was issued in that area, the games were cancelled and the bus turned around and returned to Ava.