An apparent tornado has caused damage in Unity Village and Lee's Summit in eastern Jackson County. Roofs were torn off, cars and a semi were overturned and firework tents toppled.
No injuries were reported, according to Mike Curry, director of emergency preparedness for Jackson County.
The funnel cloud lasted a short time in Lee's Summit, Curry said. He said the damage reports seem to be from high winds and debris. This includes heating and cooling equipment on roofs being moved and gas leaks.
Many people took cover after seeing the sinister funnel cloud and hearing the sirens. Some were trapped inside businesses as high winds tossed their vehicles like toy cars.
Flash flooding was reported in Lee's Summit, Cass County and Pettis County. One woman was trapped inside a store in Lee's Summit after floodwaters poured in through the basement where she had hidden during the tornado. When the waters poured in, she tried to escape through a back door. She got swept into a creek where a police officer rescued her.
Lauretta Kellogg said she works at Natural Way Chiropractic Office at 1186 Douglas when she heard the tornado sirens. Those at the office including patients and children raced for an interior X-ray office. She said she then heard a rumbling sound that she had heard about but never thought she would hear herself.
"It sounded like a freight train. It only lasted maybe 30 seconds or less," she said. "The walls were shaking. We heard things slamming into the building. We heard what we thought was the air conditioning ripped off the roof and slammed back down with a big bang. Within 30 seconds or so, it was gone as fast as it occurred."
But in that time, part of the roof was knocked off and rain poured in. Damaged was seen at other nearby buildings. Cars were damaged from slate tiles tossed from the roofs into the vehicles.
Kellogg said two or three trees were uprooted while gas pipes were pulled out of the ground. She said she and others were frightened and grateful to be alive.
Fireworks stands in Lee's Summit also saw damage including one raising money for the Lee's Summit North High School.
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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he was monitoring the storm situation. Jackson County opened its emergency management center Wednesday night. The National Weather Service will survey the damage Thursday morning to determine if a tornado or straight line winds caused the damage.
Earlier Wednesday, KCTV5 Meteorologist Gary Amble said this is a "potentially explosive" situation where storms could begin firing this evening, and they could "rapidly fire."
He detailed in KCTV5's weather blog why this system is particularly difficult to forecast. Click here for more.
"It all depends on the frontal boundary," KCTV5 Meteorologist Lisa Teachman said.
Some areas saw damage from storms early Wednesday. Some trees were knocked down in Leeton, MO.
Text StormTrack5 to 23765 for a link to download the area's most accurate weather app. Click here for more and to track the storms.
Big Brother replayed at 2:05 a.m. Wednesday. Extant will air at 10:35 p.m. Thursday.
KCTV5's Betsy Webster, Josh Marshall and Jonathan Carter contributed to this report.
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