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Friday, May 6, 2016

Sirens sound; storms produce little damage

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Downtown Monett at dusk. {Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Storm sirens sounded just after midnight this morning in several Barry County cities as a powerful storm system moved through portions of the county.

David Compton, director of the Barry County Office of Emergency Management, said an emergency operations center was activated at around 10 p.m. last night and storm spotters were sent out at around 10:30 p.m.

"The City of Monett sent spotters out an hour ahead of us," said Compton. "They were tracking a storm that swung through the north end of the county."

Compton said he recommended that cities in the county sound their sirens shortly after midnight when the National Weather Service expanded its tornado warning to include Barry County. According to Compton, sirens were activated in Monett, Seligman, Washburn, Exeter, Wheaton, Cassville and Purdy.

Monett Emergency Management Director Bonnie Witt-Schulte said Monett sounded its tornado sirens from 11:51 p.m. last night until 12:18 a.m. this morning.

The sirens turned out to be just a precaution.

"There were no funnel clouds reported in Barry County and no damage except for some downed limbs," said Compton.

"We actually started watching the storm system in western Kansas yesterday morning," said Compton. "Initially we thought we'd miss it, but there was a little tail and back end of the storm that looped around and looked like it could create some problems.

"When we activated the EOC, the back of the storm was building," Compton added. "We were lucky."

The heavy rains also caused flooding in several areas of the county. As of mid-morning, the Missouri Department of Transportation repoted that two state routes in the Cassville area were closed due to the flooding.

Route C at McDowell is closed until waters from Little Flat Creek recede, and Route U at Flat Creek near Cassville is also closed to traffic due to high water.

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