Life in Missouri...
The Sedalia [MO] Democrat by Sarah Daniel, Beth O'Malley and Oliver Wiest
One person was killed, six injured and two reported missing after a string of tornadoes moved through Pettis County Sunday afternoon and evening.
Emergency management storm spotters followed progress of storm systems well into the night Sunday, while hundreds either sought shelter or huddled in dark homes lacking electricity.
I was very sorry, but not terribly surprised to hear on the all-news channels last night that Sedalia, MO had been hit by tornadoes. Dennis and I attended college at Warrensburg, just 30 miles west of Sedalia on Highway 50. As Dennis always says, Sedalia has a bulls-eye drawn on it. That town has been hit repeatedly by severe weather and tornadoes. It must be something about the lay of the land that channels bad weather there.
For example, here's an account of a tornado that hit on May 13, 1980
Sedalia Mayor Allen Hawkins said the twister caused from $40 million to $45 million in damages, mainly affecting factories, warehouses and commercial enterprises that employ a large sector of the city’s work force.
At least 15 structures were damaged or destroyed.
Despite the economic damage, city officials took solace in the absence of a single death resulting from the second major twister to strike here in three years.
I think the last sentence of the above quotation refers to the tornado described in the following quote:
MAY 4 1977...The Sedalia Missouri Tornado.... The tornado touched down around 1:45 PM about 9 miles southwest of Sedalia, and went through Sedalia finally lifting 2 miles northeast of town. Approximately 150 homes were destroyed and 300 more damaged. Several schools were damaged and two elementary schools were closed for the remainder of the school year. The path length was 11 miles and the tornado was as wide as 700 yards at times. The storm was rated an F3-PL3-PW4 on the Fujita-Pearson scale.
I personally remember tornadoes and damaging winds hitting in and around Sedalia several times during the State Fair which is held there every summer. One year, we were there and observed that the sky was looking ominous. We decided to get out of there and very shortly after we left, a violent wind wreaked havoc on many of the tents and booths, as well as the fair-goers. Here's a much more disastrous State Fair weather event that happened well before my memory.
1952 – The golden anniversary of the Missouri State Fair was marked with a tragedy when the fairgrounds was hit by a tornado at 1:20 a.m. on August 20. The storm centered on the midway area and a carnival employee was killed. Despite suffering extensive damage to all 60 permanent buildings on the fairgrounds, totaling almost $700,000, the fair was back in operation the following evening.
Photo and another account of this tornado
And in a storm with straight winds on May 21, 1987:
Severe thunderstorms, developing along a sharp cold front crossing the central U.S., produced 60 mph winds and golf ball size hail at Sedalia, MO ...
Another report from May 7, 2003:
Damage was minimal in most areas compared to Sunday's storms, but there were reports of downed trees and power lines. Several buildings also were damaged, including concrete grain bins and a metal shed in Sedalia, Mo.
It just can't be denied that they get plenty of severe weather in Sedalia, MO.