Tornadoes strike near Miller

Steve Chapman

An overhead drone photograph shows the extent of tornado damage to the 39 Mini-Storage building on Highway 39 just south of Miller. (Photo by Fish Xpressions)

 The front of the building is all that remains following winds of around 95 mph the afternoon of Tuesday, May 1.

Two EF-1 tornadoes touched down near Miller on Tuesday, April 30. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured, though a significant amount of damage was reported.
According to the National Weather Service, the first tornado struck two miles southwest of Miller at 3:22 p.m. and traveled four miles over 12 minutes before lifting about two miles northeast of Miller. It damaged a metal building in its path and uprooted several trees. Its path was about 100 yards wide.
The second tornado struck about six miles northwest of Miller and traveled for a little over half of a mile before lifting two minutes later. It uprooted numerous trees, and a home was damaged when one of the trees fell on it. It left a path about 50 yards wide. Both tornadoes had maximum wind gusts of 95 miles per hour.
 Stacy Daniels, mayor of Miller, said the first tornado, though brief, inflicted an extensive amount of damage.
“The tornado downed many, many trees, snapped power poles and downed lines,” she said. “Falling trees and high winds damaged homes and vehicles. Just outside the city limits, a home was destroyed by the tornado.”
Miller residents who needed help with cleaning debris from the tornadoes were advised to move the debris onto the side of the road so the city could make a map showing where debris was located. Daniels said the cleanup efforts are continuing, and the city will be receiving assistance in their cleanup efforts.
“We are continuing to clean up the park when time allows,” she said. “I received a call from Southwest Missouri Council of Governments stating we will qualify for grant money to help with the clean-up. We are in the process of filling out paperwork and working out the details.”
Currently, when a tornado strikes, residents are allowed to take shelter in the Legion Hall building. However, Daniels said the Miller R-2 School District is scheduled to get a FEMA-approved storm shelter.
“The school has been given notice they have been awarded a FEMA grant for a shelter,” she said. “Once building is complete, the city will have an approved tornado shelter.”
Despite the damage, Daniels said the city was spared what could have been a much greater disaster.
“I am so thankful no one was injured in the tornado,” she said. “The damage could’ve been so much worse.”
A total of 19 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in southwest Missouri during the April 30 storms. No fatalities were reported.


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