Northeast Missouri experienced a hard hit of storms, which stretched more that 10 miles wide on July 9 at approximately 10:30 p.m. Ralls County Electric Cooperative (RCEC) announced power outages effected approximately 2,500 members extending from Lake Hannibal to Perry. RCEC brought in crews from across the state, with nearly 70 workers working 16 hour shifts to help restore power.
Although there was not a confirmed tornado, but those experiencing the storm’s wake describe violent winds, vibrating structures and squeaking window pressure as they took shelter.
Maximum wind speeds of 60-80 mph were recorded at most locations, with isolated areas experiencing near 90 mph.
Electricity has been disrupted for several days, as crews continue to work around the clock to restore everyone’s power. At time of press, RCEC reported power had been restored to almost all its members and asked members to call the office if they were still without power. Utility lines were seen broken, including a forth of a mile stretch on Route W near Monroe City, where poles seemed to have a domino effect as they fell to the ground with downed power lines. Route W remained closed until the late evening hours on July 11.
Perry seemed to be the hardest hit, with broken windows, collapsed walls to buildings, roof damage and uprooted trees. On Saturday, July 10, those driving through town could see areas of destruction on every block. Residents and volunteers were all outside working fervently to repair and restore their properties with chainsaws and heavy equipment machines removing trees, limbs and debris.
Despite the massive storm which raged through the area, there has been no report of injuries thus far. Businesses suffered massive damage including the Blackjack Marina reporting estimates ranging at approximately $1 million, Dry Dock, Hitching Post and Jellystone Park.
Also suffering damage were campgrounds, including campsites with campers and trailers flipped over.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that due to the storms that took place, the Ray Behrens and Frank Russell Campgrounds are closed until Sunday July 18, as a minimum timeframe. Additional delays in openings are expected past this date. A large amount of storm debris is in the campgrounds, as well as a lack of power and sewer in the area is currently being evaluated.
Meanwhile, due to the heavy rains from Friday’s storm, the level of Mark Twain Lake has come up approximately 3 feet since Saturday morning. The lake level as of 10 a.m. Monday, July 11 is 626.92 and rising at a rate of about a foot a day. The Corps is releasing water and if the area receives no further rainfall, it’s believed the lake will top out near 630. Many smaller ramps and all three beaches are currently closed. However, boaters can still access the lake by way of high water ramps at Stoutsville Rec Area, Spalding Rec Area, Indian Creek Rec Area, Robert Allen Rec Area.