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Storm causes damage in Wright County

Roof comes off Mansfield school; outages and damage in area


While no tornadoes were reportedly spotted during a severe thunderstorm that hit Wright County the afternoon of May 4, severe winds caused a lot of damage similar to tornado destruction in the area.
The National Weather Service had issued a bulletin for severe storms that could produce wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h.
In Mansfield around 2 p.m., wind gusts from the north lifted off the metal roof from the high school building.
Superintendent Dr. Nathan Moore said the metal roof, which was put on in 2005 to help combat water issues, was taken off by the wind. The approximately 120’ long by 60’ wide section of roof peeled off and laid over top of the high school library along with three classrooms.
No one was reportedly inside of that portion of the school at the time of the incident. There were no reported injuries. He added that some staff had been serving meals earlier in the morning. Many of those folks, including himself, were at lunch when the storm hit.
“That’s the silver lining in all of this,” Dr. Moore noted when talking about the district being out of school due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). “The school building was empty. No one was hurt. If we can replace metal and a few boards, that’s no problem at all.”
He said the damage to the inside was minimal.
Fortunately that same morning, he had just told the custodians to begin clearing out classrooms for a waxing.
“So all of the classrooms were pretty well cleared out,” he noted. “So any type of water issue was limited.”
After the storm, custodians and some administrators used plastic wrap to cover some of the bookshelves in the library.
Dr. Moore said within the hour of the school being damaged, the insurance company was already on site and a roof crew responded for damage control and assessment.
As of press time early Tuesday morning, 2,723 Se-Ma-No Electric Cooperative customers were without power and there were approximately 35 broken poles. Outages included 64 members from Seymour, 580 in Mansfield, 951 in Norwood and 1,128 in Mountain Grove.
In Norwood, an apparent metal roof, reportedly from the Norwood Post Office, was all over the front lawn and across the street from the former Norwood Methodist Church building.
Some of the debris wrapped around a pole much like what could be found when a tornado hits an area.
There was also a lot of reported damage on Sparks Road, just off Highway E outside of Norwood.
In Mountain Grove, one home was completely destroyed in the area of Wall Road and the areas of Gumbo Road and Morris Road.
Emily Jones, who lives on Morris Road, said she and her kids were watching cartoons when the storm hit.
“…Next thing we knew, the wind died down, our electric went out and it got super loud so we grabbed the kids and ran to the bathroom to take shelter,” Jones said.
“By the time we got there, it was pretty much over. The storm threw our camper trailer over into an electric pole, smashed it up pretty good and knocked the pole crooked.”
Jones went on to say the storm uprooted 10 large trees in her yard.

One pulled the gas line up with it, which landed just inches from her home.
“There was minor damage to one corner of the house, but to say that we are lucky would be an understatement,” Jones added.
“I am so extremely grateful that no one was hurt and I’m definitely hugging my kids extra tonight. My son had been playing just feet away from where one tree fell only 10 minutes before.”
Some residential damage and downed power lines could also be found on 95 south and on Sunny Slope Road. The Mountain Grove Police Department had a deputy blocking off the road with his vehicle at one of the locations due to the downed power lines.
Downed power lines could also be found off of Wheeler Arch Road. No estimates for a number of people being without power were available as of press time for Intercounty Electric customers, but the company reported several outages in Mountain Grove, Cabool, Houston and Licking. Several Mountain Grove residents who had no power for around five hours, saw power turn back on around 8:30 p.m.
The square in Seymour suffered significant damage from the storm’s impact. No reports of damage were reported in Hartville as of press time.

Wright County Storm


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