Editor’s Note: Democrat staff will continue to update this article as more cancellations are submitted and as more information about today’s storms is made available.
Tuesday morning’s severe weather caused damage and power outages across Sedalia and Pettis County with more rain and high winds expected Tuesday night.
Pettis County was in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 2 p.m. Tuesday with a Flood Advisory in effect until 1:45 p.m. Sedalia-Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Clippert said he received reports of at least 60 mph wind in the area with the possibility of higher wind gusts as the storm went through, and he didn’t hear of any hail bigger than pea-sized. At 5:30 p.m., Clippert said he estimated Sedalia received 1.5 inches of rain in a short amount of time.
He reminded residents the morning weather was only “round one.”
“(Tuesday night) we are still in (a slight risk) for severe weather,” Clippert said. “The primary threat is high winds again tonight with about 15 percent chance of large hail. We’re on the border of a 2 percent chance of a tornado, but from what I’m reading don’t think we’ll see any tornadic activity come our way, but the Missouri/Kansas border could see it. This should all weaken as it moves east, but still we’re worried about that wind. People need to be aware it’s not over yet, that was just round one (Tuesday) morning.”
As of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Clippert, Pettis County is in a Slight Risk (15 percent chance) for severe weather between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday:
• 2 percent tornado risk: Highest tornado risk is west of the Missouri/Kansas border.
• 15 percent high winds: This has been reduced from a 30 percent risk, Clippert said. If Sedalia does receive high winds they could be expected to hit the 60+ mph mark.
• 15 percent large hail – 1 inch or larger.
Clippert said he had received reports of trees blown down by the high winds all over town and several landed on power lines Tuesday.
The storm caused power outages across Sedalia, leaving 2,284 Kansas City Power & Light customers without power as of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s obviously storm-related, but the biggest issue we’ve run into is a lot of down poles in Sedalia,” said Rebecca Galati of KCP&L. “We have reports of over 20 poles down or damaged and the process takes a little longer to restore those poles so we have crews called in to Sedalia and called in crews in the surrounding area to come in and help. We heard reports at the (Sedalia Regional Airport) there were winds up to 75 mph and that is always an issue with our lines as well.”
Galati said it was unknown when power would be restored to all Sedalia customers. She recommended residents check the outage map on KCPL.com once they’ve reported a power outage in their area to keep track of the progress, and it is mobile-optimized so residents can use their smart-phones while the power is out.
“It’s always tough to tell (when power will be restored) with storms and there’s reports of another storm possibly,” Galati said. “Crews are working as quickly as they can and safely to restore power for everyone.”
The Sedalia School District 200 lost power at Washington and Parkview elementaries, Sedalia Middle School/Pettis County Early Childhood Center and Whittier High School.
“All students and staff are safe,” the district posted on its Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. “Lunch is being served, water is available and restroom facilities are functioning.”
The storm damaged several roofs in Sedalia, including the dock roof of Tallman Plumbing Co., 1400 N. Missouri Ave., and the roof of Wilken Music, 207 S. Ohio Ave. in downtown Sedalia. Workers from Arnwine Construction were already working to repair the damage at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“The storm ripped the roof off from the front,” said Chris Carver, of Arnwine. “It completely came off. There’s about 60 feet that came off.”
Courtney Wilken was in the store Tuesday afternoon but said the store sustained minimal other damage.
“The storm took off a portion of the roof. There was some water damage but we’re fine,” Wilken said around 2 p.m. Tuesday. “We’re open, we just don’t have electricity.”
The storm caused several organizations and businesses to cancel/reschedule events:
• The Sedalia Senior Center postponed its taco dinner slated for Tuesday.
• All Tuesday afternoon sessions at the Pettis County Early Childhood Center have been cancelled.
• Community Café will not be serving Tuesday night.
• Wednesday’s Spring Fling and Hire Attire Fashion Show at State Fair Community College will be moved to the Yeater Lobby.
• All Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department Youth Baseball practices scheduled for Tuesday have been cancelled.
• Sacred Heart High School softball game vs. Cole Camp Tuesday night is canceled. No make-up date at this time.
• Three Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri Sites (downtown, Parkview and Washington) have no power as of Tuesday afternoon, but will still be open for members to attend although regular Club programming will not be available. Parents are encouraged to pick up their child as they are able.
If you have a storm-related cancellation you would like included in this article, email reporter Nicole Cooke at [email protected]
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.