Severe storm rocks Barry County

Friday, May 15, 2009

Barry County was rocked by a huge storm that swept through the area Friday morning.

The sky went black and winds roared in excess of 50 miles per hour when the front edge of the storm hit at around 7:45 a.m. A second and third wave of high winds and sheets of rain followed the initial onslaught.

Traffic on the scanner was constant as officers, firemen and other emergency workers responded to widespread reports of downed trees and power lines as well as significant roof damage.

According to David Compton, director of the Barry County Office of Emergency Management, the storm cell swept through Barry County from the north all the way to the south county line.

"What we've seen consistently in all these areas is home with roof damage, lots of trees down and power poles that have been pushed over to the side," said Compton.

There were also some outbuildings down west of Monett on Highway 60 and along Highway 37 in the Purdy and Butterfield areas.

Compton said his office was still assessing the storm, but it was his initial opinion that the damage was caused by straight-line winds.

"The storm came in from the northwest and made a big swipe down through the county," said Compton.

Although it appeared as if the county was being hit by several different storms one right after the other, it was actually one great big storm cell, Compton said.

"The leading edge of the storm created a squall line, and as that passed, there were strong winds that were pushing from behind, which caused two or three waves of damage," Compton said.

"It was a bad storm, but luckily there were no injuries," added Compton. "All in all, we're lucky."

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