Potosi, MO Tornado Damage, Dec 1967

Potosi MO Court House Destroyed by Tornado.jpg


Potosi, Mo. (AP) -- A tornado that dropped out of a pre-dawn thunderstorm wrecked an area of this southeast Missouri town of 2,800 Thursday, then leap-frogged to a rural area. Three persons were killed and 39 injured.
Potosi Mayor HOMER McCLAIN said damage will exceed $1 million. He said he is considering asking for state aid in the disaster area.
The twister was one of several Thursday in southern Missouri and Illinois. McBride, a tiny Missouri town on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, was hit about noon and 18 injuries were reported.
Damage from high winds also was reported at Breese and Jerseyville in southern Illinois and several points in southeast Missouri.
Most of the injuries were believed minor. Twenty persons were taken to a hospital in Bonne Terre because Potosi was without electric power.
The tornado struck Potosi without warning. Few heard it coming until it was upon them.
Fifteen buildings in the heart of Potosi were either destroyed or damaged heavily.
The Missouri Highway Patrol said about 50 homes were either demolished or damaged heavily.
The twister hit at 1:17 a.m.
The city hall, a large supermarket and a doctor's office beyond that were demolished. The tornado crossed the town's main street and into a relatively new shopping center.
One of the losses was the Washington County Library, which was destroyed by fire two years ago and only recently moved to its new location.
The tornado jumped over a wooded area and then wrecked the Arkansas-Missouri Power Co. substation, plunging the city into darkness. Company officials expected power to be restored by nightfall.
The tornado hit again in a trailer park on a hill overlooking the intersection of Rt. E and Missouri 21. If flipped one trailer over and tore it apart, killing 9-year-old JULIA HUNTER.
The tornado roared up Route E for about two miles, killing an elderly couple, MR. and MRS. JESSIE HAGGARD, as it flattened their home.
The tornado delivered a parting slap at the tiny community of Cadet about six miles to the northeast where it destroyed a home and damaged a church. Potosi High School football coach DONALD STRANGE said the only warning he had was a loud rumble and he found himself calling to his wife and child from the backyard. MRS. STRANGE and 18-month-old LESLEY also were in the backyard. Their home was completely gone, only the floor remained.
Two doors away LOWELL McFARLAND, co-publisher of the Potosi Independent Journal, awoke to find his home crashing down about him and his wife DOROTHY. They struggled through the wreckage to the basement, where their son BARRY, 24, and his wife and child had been sleeping. The son moved into a newly completed basement apartment late Wednesday night.

Daily Capital News Jefferson City Missouri 1967-12-22