National Weather Service confirms 2 tornadoes hit the Bolivar, Mo. area Thursday

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BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) – The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes hit the Bolivar, Mo. area Thursday.

The two EF1 twisters hit around the noon hour. The first brief tornado hit along Killingsworth Avenue in the southern portion of the Polk County city. The second EF1 tornado hit between Bolivar and Halfway.

Multiple witnesses reported the tornadoes. The storms destroyed a workshop building and other businesses. The tornadoes also uprooted trees, turned over travel trailers and knocked down power poles. Several hundred lost power in the area.

“Still a little shook about it, it’s the what ifs,” said Vanessa Swartz, who had property damaged by the tornado. ”Windows started busting out and we hit the ground. We could see the shop disappearing.”

EF1 tornado wind speeds range from 86 miles-per-hour to 110 miles-per-hour.

Polk County’s emergency manager Brent Watkins says severe storm sirens were set off to warn people that dangerous winds were approaching. However, some Bolivar residents are upset a tornado warning was not issued Thursday amid severe weather.

“When we issue a severe thunderstorm warning, that is a life threatening event,” said Steve Runnels, warning coordination meteorologist for NWS Springfield. “Normally that just means straight line winds. But short-lived tornadoes are possible, even though we just issued severe thunderstorm warnings.”

by KY3 Staff (2021, May 28)

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Kyrie Wagner