SEMA News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2017
Missouri Department of Public Safety agencies are continuing to support local responders in Perryville, Mo., where there is significant damage due to a tornado that hit the area Tuesday night. In addition to damage to homes, the storm impacted a number of vehicles that were traveling on Interstate 55.
Three strike teams of state and regional fire, search and rescue, and EMS were activated and deployed to Perryville.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol also immediately responded to the area. Together the teams have assisted with searching damaged vehicles for victims as well as searching homes, and rerouting traffic in the area. They will continue to work throughout the night.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter in Perryville to assist displaced residents. The shelter is at Perry Park Center, 800 City Park Lane, Perryville, MO 63775.
Interstate 55 remains closed in the Perryville area. Northbound 1-55 traffic is being rerouted at Exit 129. Southbound I-55 is being rerouted at Exit 150. The closure is expected to continue past midnight. Missouri Highway 61 is closed one mile south of Route M and is expected to remain closed for an extended period.
To allow search and rescue crews and other responders to best assist storm survivors, public safety officials request that people who do not live there avoid the area. People are asked to follow the instructions of authorities in the area.
The State Emergency Operations Center has been operating 24 hours since Tuesday afternoon to support local response partners.
Overnight tornadoes are particularly dangerous because people are often asleep when a warning is issued. A NOAA Weather Radio will wake you to the threat and is one of the few devices available that can warn you of severe weather 24-hours a day. If your radio is set to alert mode, it will automatically set off an alarm broadcasting the warning message for your area.
Much of Missouri remains under a tornado and severe thunderstorm warning overnight. People should understand that mobile homes are not safe in severe weather. When under a severe weather threat, mobile home residents should leave and go to a secure structure. If a tornado shelter is not available, the best locations to shelter are a windowless basement or an interior room of the lowest floor of a secure structure. The idea is to put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
If you are driving, stop and take shelter in a nearby building.
Overpasses are not safe. Their under-the-girder-type construction can cause a dangerous wind tunnel effect.
For more information, call 573-751-4819 or e-mail [email protected]