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Survey confirms tornado strikes Clark, Lee Counties

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A survey team from the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities determined a tornado hit the Tri-States Monday evening.

The preliminary survey found an EF-2 tornado, with winds of, 115 mph, traveled 8.9 miles. The tornado hit eastern Clark County Missouri and southern Lee County Iowa.

The most significant damage was found in Clark County, just south of Wayland, Missouri, where a MoDOT facility took a direct hit and a truck was flipped, injuring the driver. The driver was transported to Unitypoint Hospital in Keokuk with minor injuries.

The tornado first touched down 2.7 miles southwest of Wayland at approximately 5:13 p.m. The tornado hit the MoDOT facility, flipped a truck on Highway 27, crossed the Des Moines River into Iowa before it dissipated 4.4 miles west-northwest of Keokuk, Iowa at 5:28 p.m.

Not only is the strength rare for December, the path length of nine miles is also quite rare for the Tri-State area. The last December tornado to hit the Tri-States was in 2015 when an EF-1 hit parts of McDonough County two days before Christmas. That tornado traveled 10.9 miles. According to records held by the NOAA Storm Event Database, there has never been an EF-2 or higher tornado in northeast Missouri in the month of December.

There has also never been an EF-2 or stronger tornado in Iowa in December before Monday, making this the strongest one to hit the entire state in the last month of the calendar year.

Elsewhere in the Tri-States, a comparable December F-2 tornado hit Morgan County Illinois back in 1973 also on the fourth of the month, and also injuring one person.

KHQA Meteorologist Nick Stewart was out in the Farm and Home Supply Storm Runner reporting on the severe weather. He captured images of the storm as it hit Wayland. A wall cloud was observed, but rain likely hid the tornado that was doing damage, which makes tornadoes at night that more dangerous.

Beside from the injured truck driver, there were no other reported injuries related to the tornado.

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