UNITED STATES NEWS

Patrol: Missouri tornado victims were in trailer or camper

Apr 6, 2023, 10:42 AM

The five people who were killed when a tornado barreled through their Missouri village were inside a mobile home or adjacent camper that were obliterated, authorities said Thursday.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol released the names of the victims. Glenn Burcks, 62, lived in the mobile home. Susan Sullivan, 57, also lived there along with her 37-year-old nephew, James Skaggs. Also killed were Sullivan’s 16-year-old granddaughter, Destinee Nicole Koenig of Sikeston, Missouri, and 18-year-old Michael McCoy. Koenig’s obituary said McCoy was her boyfriend.

The tornado strafed a 22-mile (35-kilometer) stretch of southeastern Missouri, including Glenallen, starting shortly after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. It came during touched down.

Glenallen, which is home to only about 60 people and sits in a hilly and isolated area of southeastern Missouri, got the worst of Wednesday’s tornado, which the weather service characterized as an EF-2, with winds of 130 mph (209 kph). A fire station and church were destroyed, and dozens of homes were damaged, many beyond repair. The mobile home and camper where the five people were smashed beyond recognition.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott said investigators aren’t sure if any of the victims were in the camper when the tornado hit.

The mobile home essentially exploded, leaving only scattered debris and a rusted metal chassis. Some shards of metal stuck to tree limbs. Tattered remains of furniture sat in a field. A few old photos, videotapes and even baseball cards dotted the mud near the home’s concrete pad.

Koenig was a sophomore at New Madrid High School and loved animals, especially cats and dogs. A message seeking comment from the school district wasn’t immediately returned.

Sullivan worked as a teacher for Head Start for about 15 years, according to her obituary. She had a fondness for her dog, “Baby,” and for pigs.

Skaggs “loved to take pictures, have fun and be the life of the party,” his obituary stated.

Obituaries for Burcks and McCoy had not been posted as of midday Thursday.

In Kentucky, preliminary findings on Thursday indicated that tornadoes struck the Pleasure Ridge Park and Newburg sections of Louisville, meteorologist Brian Neudorff said. The storm toppled trees and power lines and tore the roof off an apartment building.

A separate tornado with maximum winds of 110 mph (177 kph) touched down in the Brandonburg area of Mead County, less than an hour southwest of Louisville, Neudorff said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Bob Oravec, a lead weather service forecaster, said more severe weather was possible Thursday in an area stretching from eastern Texas to the mid-Atlantic states.

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Salter reported from O’Fallon, Missouri and Hollingsworth reported from Mission, Kansas. Jennifer Garske and Nancy Benac in Washington, D.C., and John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, contributed to this report.

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What to do if a tornado hits your home: https://apnews.com/article/tornado-home-destroyed-what-to-do-42ab3f90a3b129acf6b1d2ddaded754b

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Patrol: Missouri tornado victims were in trailer or camper