A family of three was injured when a tornado struck their home in the Waterford Subdivision, about two miles east of Lambert’s Cafe in Ozark on Highway NN.
Ozark Police Chief Tim Clothier told OI that based on the damage path observed by himself and other officials, they believe a tornado did touch down causing damage to multiple homes in the subdivision.
“We haven’t had confirmed yet by the weather service,” Chief Clothier said, “However the damage is significant and it appears as though it was a tornado. We have several homes in the subdivision that are severely damaged. We have three people who were transported to the hospital, the injuries were not life threatening. Minor injuries due to the tornado.”
Chief Clothier said that a number of agencies such as the Ozark Police Department, Ozark Fire Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Christian County Sheriff’s Office and EMS “came together perfectly” and were able to quickly clear the subdivision and make sure all the residents were safe.
Witnesses told OI that the tornado struck so quickly there was no time to get to shelter. A neighbor of the injured family said that they were in their living room with the window open when the rain hit, and suddenly they were hit with “the biggest gust of wind” they’d ever felt. They estimated it was over in ten seconds.
One witness said his neighbor’s family were injured and that the husband did all he could to get his family to safety.
“He grabbed his wife and child and was heading for safety but didn’t have time to get there,” the neighbor told OI. “It hit so fast and the roof fell in. It’s a miracle they weren’t hurt worse.”
Another witness told OI they saw the funnel cloud strike the houses and that it sounded like someone “was snapping twigs non-stop.”
Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole told OI that there was also damage in other parts of the county but that no injuries were reported as a result of that damage.
Ozark Fire Chief Darren White thanked fire departments from around the area that volunteered their services, from helping with the search efforts to covering other parts of the county so the Ozark crew could focus on the rescue efforts. Departments from Nixa, Chadwick, Sparta, Battlefield and Republic Fire Departments all contributed personnel and equipment.
The Salvation Army is on site providing food, water and other items to the families impacted by the storm.