After the Douglas County Herald went to press last week, the National Weather Service released findings noting the severe storms that hit the Ozarks during the overnight hours of Oct. 20 into the morning of Oct. 21, held and released several embedded tornadoes.
The EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes became active when the potentially volatile line of storms swept across the southern parts of Kansas and Missouri.
In Douglas County, in Vanzant, a tornado initially dropped down along Bryant Creek and traveled to the northeast crossing over Highway 14 toward Drury. The tornado’s path was 16.45 miles in length, with peak winds of up to 100 mph. The National Weather Service reports the tornado stayed on the ground for 15 minutes. Damages included destruction of outbuildings, heavy debris, and snapped / uprooted trees.
The Vanzant touchdown was recorded at 2:06 a.m., subsiding at 2:21 a.m. No one was injured.
In Ozark County, near Dora, Mo., an EF-1 tornado was recorded near Bryant Creek on the southwest side of the community. Damage to the area included numerous outbuildings and trees along Highway CC, an area heavily impacted by storm movement. Two mobile homes were reported destroyed, with one lifted off its foundation and the other a missing roof.
The tornado moved to the northeast crossing Highways 181 and 14, and along the path, snapping and damaging hundreds of trees before lifting near Highway 289, northeast of Dora. Touchdown occurred at 2:13 a.m. and lasted for about 12 minutes, staying on the ground for 13.05 miles. Peak winds were 105 mph. No injuries have been reported.
Tornado touchdowns were also declared in Christian County, when an EF-1 with peak winds of 90 mph traveled from the Highlandville area to Sparta. Trees were mostly destroyed along the path. The storm hit around 1:03 a.m.
In Christian and Webster counties, around 1:38 a.m., an EF-1 with peak winds of 100 mph touched down. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado tracked to the northeast to the east, on the southeast side of Rogersville. The storm’s path left damaged trees and outbuildings.
A tornado also touched down in western Howell County about five miles southwest of Willow Springs at 2:30 a.m. The twister touched ground for a brief encounter, as the total length of the path was 0.10 miles.
Areas around Springfield were also hit with tornado touchdowns, with one in Wilson’s Creek and another in southeast Springfield. Both locations cited EF-0 tornadoes with peak winds of 85 mph and 70 mph, respectively.