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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

Tornado touches down in St. Charles County, kills one and damages dozens of homes

A Christmas tree still stands in a home that was severely damaged by a tornado in St. Charles County, near the community of Defiance.
Jonathan Ahl
St. Louis Public Radio
A Christmas tree still stands in a home that was severely damaged by a tornado in St. Charles County, near the community of Defiance.

More than two dozen homes were severely damaged, some even leveled, and one woman lost her life as a tornado touched down in St. Charles County near the community of Defiance.

It was the beginning of the storm system that ended up hitting the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville as well as causing damage and claiming lives in Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.

The National Weather Service of St. Louis rated the tornado and EF-3 with winds topping out at 165 mph.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson toured the damage on Sunday morning, and said that early warning systems prevented the losses from being greater.

“I think one of the good sides of it, though, is that in today’s time, people have a lot better way of having warning devices, trying to figure out when to take shelter,” Parson said. “And I think we’ve seen that.”

Connie Kisker met with Parson at the former site of her sister’s home, which was destroyed by the tornado. Kisker’s parents also live nearby, and their home was severely damaged.

“They heard the tornado sirens, and my sister called my parents and said ‘Get to the basement’, and they were able to get down, too,” Sisker said. “So they did hear the sirens and were able to get down to their basements.”

Sisker’s sister, brother-in-law and parents all made it through with only minor injuries.

The storm continued moving southeast and struck Pemiscot County in the Bootheel region where a child was killed at home and at least nine people were transported to hospitals.

Parson said state resources will be available to help clean up and with rebuilding efforts. He also said he had talked with the White House about options for federal aid.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @JonathanAhl

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Jonathan is the General Manager of Tri States Public radio. His duties include but are not limited to, managing all facets of the station, from programming to finances to operations. Jonathan grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. He has a B.A in music theory and composition from WIU and a M.A in Public Affairs Reporting from The University of Illinois at Springfield. Jonathan began his journey in radio as a student worker at WIUM. While in school Jonathan needed a summer job on campus. He heard WIUM was hiring, and put his bid in. Jonathan was welcomed on the team and was very excited to be using his music degree. He had also always been interested in news and public radio. He soon learned he was a much better reporter than a musician and his career was born. While at WIUM, Jonathan hosted classical music, completed operations and production work, was a news reporter and anchor, and served as the stage manager for Rural Route 3. Jonathan then went to on to WIUS in Springfield where he was a news anchor and reporter covering the state legislature for Illinois Public Radio. After a brief stint in commercial radio and TV, Jonathan joined WCBU in Peoria, first in operations then as a news reporter and for the last ten years of his time there he served as the News Director. Jonathan’s last job before returning to Tri States Public Radio was as the News Director/ Co-Director of Content for Iowa Public Radio. During Jonathan’s off time he enjoys distance running, playing competitive Scrabble, rooting for Chicago Cubs, listening to all kinds of music and reading as much as he can. He lives in Macomb with his wife Anita and children Tommy and Lily.