NWS: EF-3 tornado caused damage near Fredericktown

FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. (KBSI) – The National Weather Service St. Louis upgraded the category of storm that caused damage near Fredericktown Sunday night. The NWS now says an EF-3 tornado ripped through the area.

Thousands of people are without power after the severe weather damaged Black River Electric Cooperative (BREC) headquarters in Fredericktown.

Electric customers in Fredericktown should expect an extended power outage, according to the Fredericktown Fire Department. Storms caused significant damage to a primary substation and electric transmission lines that feed the city utility customers.

A shelter has been opened at the Madison County Health Department located at 105 Armory Street. The shelter is not providing any comfort items at this time (i.e. blankets/pillows). Bring any needed medications as well. Pets are not allowed in the building.

People are asked to stay away from the areas that received storm damage as unnecessary traffic on the roadways are hampering the work of cleanup and utility crews.

At one point, more than 6,500 co-op members were without power. As of 5 a.m. on Monday, the number had dropped to around 2,900 BREC members without power.

Crews in the area report extensive damage in Reynolds, Iron and Madison counties. Poles were snapped and trees and other debris were blown through power lines. Never touch, move or drive over downed power lines. Before clearing debris from yards, roads, driveways, etc. look for power lines in the debris field.

BREC customers are asked to call 1-800-392-4711 and follow the prompts to report an outage. All BREC offices are staffed. However, the Fredericktown office of Black River Electric Cooperative is closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. BREC offices in Marble Hill and Ellington are open for business as usual.

The severe weather caused widespread damage within Citizens Electric Corporation’s territory causing 1,700 members to be without power. Crews are working to replace more than 30 poles, replace downed transmission lines, repair, straighten and reframe poles.  CEC crews and helicopter aerial patrol will be in affected areas to further assess damage throughout the day on Monday.

SEMO Electric Cooperative reports no major outages in its service area from the storms.

Ozark Border Electric Cooperative reported 173 outages in Bollinger County, two in Butler County and 59 in Wayne County Monday morning.

Ameren Missouri reports a handful of outages in southeast Missouri.

In southern Illinois, the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency reports downed trees, power lines and minor power outages.

Monday, personnel from the Office of the Director and Bureau of Operations will be assisting the Randolph County Emergency Management Agency to assess tornado damage in the Chester area.

Related stories:

2 schools cancel classes Monday due to storm damage

Planned power outage in Fredericktown for repairs, Resource center opens to offer help

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