Tornado in USA on May 23 2019 08:12 AM (UTC).
Jefferson City, the capital city of Missouri, has taken a direct hit from a tornado and suffered possibly "catastrophic" damage, according to reports. According to the National Weather Service, a "confirmed large and destructive tornado" was observed over Jefferson City, at 11:43 p.m., moving northeast at 40 mph. The twister appeared to have traveled through the center part of town, the Jefferson City News-Tribune reported. "We are currently identifying the location of damages and searching for injured residents," Lt. David Williams of the city's police department said in a statement to the News-Tribune. "The primary need at this time is for those not affected to stay clear of the impacted areas so that Emergency personnel can assist those in need." The Missouri Department of Public Safety reported extensive damage along Ellis Boulevard near Highway 54 and warned of downed power lines. Authorities warned residents that all downed lines should be considered live -- and advised that people stay away from areas that have experienced heavy damage. The state's Emergency Management Agency tweeted early Thursday that tornado warnings were still in effect in parts of Missouri and that flash flooding remained a threat as long as rain continued. Gov. Mike Parson issued a statement via Twitter: "Major tornados across state tonight, including Jeff City," Parson wrote. "We're doing okay but praying for those that were caught in damage, some are still trapped - local emergency crews are on site and assisting."