Residents emerge from shelter to find devastating destruction in Jefferson City, Missouri

Posted at 8:12 AM, May 24, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — As soon as the sirens sounded, Ed Stroesser and his family took shelter in their basement.

Together they listened to the radio, waiting for the storm to pass.

Across the city, Gerry Mack and his coworkers huddled, waiting anxiously.

"We kind of tracked the path of the tornado. You [could] hear the buzzing and the tornado over us. It was a very eerie feeling," Mack said.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado, with winds up to 160 miles per hour, touched down in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Wednesday. The twister ripped roofs off of homes, overturned semi-trucks, and took out walls of businesses and houses.

Stroesser's business was one of the places impacted. The wind knocking down the east side of the building, leaving the inside of his office exposed.

"Oh it's horrible. We've been a business here for 40 years," he said.

Before touching ground in Missouri's capitol, the tornado hit smaller towns, including Eldon, Missouri.

Brenda Hooker sought shelter in her bathroom as the tornado bounced off of her home.

"The house just jolted when it hit," she said. "It was like World War III."

Jefferson City implemented a curfew for areas hit the hardest Thursday night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday morning.