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County dodges initial blast of deadly storm

County dodges initial blast of deadly storm
From AP, staff reports
Thick gray clouds and strong winds rolled into Obion County early today as most of the region was under a tornado watch in advance of a weather system that caused at least one death in the Midwest and three reported fatalities in southern Illinois.
County highway superintendent Gary Lofton told The Messenger early today there have been a few trees and tree limbs down in the Troy area and he said he heard there was hail in the Woodland Mills area early today.
“So far, I haven’t heard about anything major,” Lofton said.
Lt. Melvin Dowell with the Union City Police Department said there were no weather-related incident in town as of early today. He said he was keeping an eye on the weather conditions though in case things got worse.
There were also no reports of any weather-related incidents in the county early today, according to a spokesman with the Obion County Sheriff’s Depart-ment.
By dawn, the National Weather Service had placed counties, mostly north of Interstate 40, from the Mississippi River across the Cumberland Plateau under the watch. The statement indicated approaching weather conditions were favorable for the formation of tornadoes.
A wind advisory was in effect for the rest of West Tennessee.
At least one person was killed early today when a possible tornado hit a southwest Missouri mobile home park. The powerful storm injured dozens as it tore roofs from buildings, upturned trailers and wreaked chaos across a broad swath of the Midwest.
Forecasters had predicted conditions ripe for tornadoes before the storms broke out around midnight Tuesday, saving most of their furor for Kansas and Missouri. High winds, severe storms and tornadoes were possible in several southern states as the system tracked eastward today.
An apparent tornado left a trail of destruction in the tourist hub of Branson, where the storm seemed to have hopscotched up Highway 76, scattering the area with debris, uprooting road signs, and heavily damaging buildings in the city’s famous theater district.
Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson treated 32 people in its emergency department in the hours after the storm, mostly for cuts and bruises, said Michelle Leroux, spokeswoman for the hospital. Power was out at two non-clinical buildings but otherwise the hospital was operating normally, Leroux said.
No deaths or serious injuries were reported in Kentucky today, but what were believed to be strong winds overturned a mobile home near Paducah. An elderly woman was rescued from the wreckage by the McCracken County Rescue Squad, according to The Paducah Sun.
High winds collapsed a barn and a silo in the Kevil area of Ballard County.
The broad tornado watch was posted for western and central Kentucky.
There were periodic tornado warnings in central Kentucky, but no immediate confirmations of touchdowns.
At 8 a.m., National Weather Service radar showed a line of heavy thunderstorms stretching from Mayfield northeastward to Cincinnati.
The weather service advised residents to be aware of developing weather conditions throughout the day.
A hospital administrator in the southern Illinois city of Harrisburg says at least three people were killed in a severe storm that swept through the region.
Harrisburg Medical Center CEO Vince Ashley said the three victims were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital after the storm hit about 5 a.m. today.
Published in The Messenger 2.29.12