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Governor Parson issues emergency operations following severe storms Friday night


Saturday evening, Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order to activate the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan in response to severe weather and flooding.

Friday, tornadoes struck in Ray (EF-0), Saline (EF-0), and Knox (EF-2) counties. The Knox County tornado and strong winds destroyed or did major damage to at least 35 residences and displaced at least 16 people in the Baring area. 

Friday night, 30 people were kept safe in a public storm shelter in Holts Summit. ABC 17 looked into the protocol in place for the shelters and what conditions are needed for the shelters and what conditions are needed for the shelters like this one to open.

According to the City of Holts Summit, when a tornado watch turns into a tornado warning, the on-duty officer will contact the local emergency management agency to sound the cities severe weather sirens, and the shelter will open.

When residents come to the shelter, the on-duty police officer will take their names, tell them the rules of the shelter, and will keep track of when they arrive and leave.

The shelter will be secured during the storm and an officer will be present to help parking, or any other problems.

There are a few rules those inside the shelter have to follow:

  • Once inside shelter you must stay there until shelter manager says it's safe to go home. Coming and going from the shelter not be allowed.
  • Only one small bag is allowed by each occupant
  • Any special needs should be pre-arranged, which can be done by contacting city hall.

Red Cross Representative Sharon Watson tells ABC 17 about the importance of a public storm shelter.

"Having a community storm shelter is so tremendously important because we typically have a little bit of a warning that storms are headed our way so just knowing that we have some place to go is so important because that can save a life."  Watson said.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri

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Isabella Roberts


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