Tornado strikes Aurora, one person found dead

Steve Chapman

Workers repair tornado damage at the Aurora Inn Motel. A man staying in a room on the motel’s second
floor was found dead after the tornado struck. (Photo by Steve Chapman)

A Crane man was found dead after an EF-1 tornado struck the south side of Aurora in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 1. Emergency crews found Jeremy Lewis dead outside of the Aurora Inn Motel. Lewis was staying at the motel in a second-floor room. No one else staying at the motel was injured.
The Aurora Fire Protection District reported that the National Weather Service confirmed the tornado touched down near the intersection of Highway 39 and Highway 60 in Aurora. The Aurora Inn Motel and Sutherlands Lumber Company both sustained significant damage to their buildings; a large amount of debris was also scattered on Sutherlands’ parking lot. A building on the property of Mayse Automotive was also damaged in the storm. Nearby homes were also reported as being damaged.
 The tornado also downed several power poles supporting a large transmission line, knocking out power. Highway 60 between Highway 39 and Business 60, as well as Prospect Street between Elliot and Lawrence 1200 were closed while crews repaired the damage. Power was restored and the roadways opened later that day.
The Aurora tornado was just one of six in the Ozarks that early morning. There were four other EF-1 tornadoes in Monett, Billings, Republic and Seymour. The last tornado in the line was an EF-O in Hartville.
According to the National Weather Service, the Aurora tornado reached winds of 100 miles per hour. The length of the path of the tornado was one half mile, with a width of 50 yards.
 The Monett tornado, which was in Barry County, produced wind speeds of an estimated 80 miles per hour, had a path length of one tenth of a mile and a width of 50 yards.
The Republic tornado produced peak winds of an estimated 95 miles per hour, had a path length of two and a half miles, and was 60 yards wide.
The longest running tornado of the night went to the Seymour twister which was on the ground for four miles.
The Lawrence County Emergency Management asks that those wishing to report storm damage call their office at (417)235-4241, extension 2.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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