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Weather service confirms 5 tornadoes went through Missouri and Illinois

Two of the tornadoes had wind speeds up to 150 mph and were rated EF-3

ST. LOUIS — The National Weather Service has confirmed that five tornadoes hit Missouri and Illinois last week. The tornadoes tore through the southeast region of Missouri and southern Illinois on Oct. 24. Two of them reached speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.

The storms caused significant damage. Homes were torn down, many people were left without power and a roof was even blown off an antique mall. Two injuries and no deaths were reported. 

The biggest tornado was rated at the EF-3 level. It had a 42-mile-long path going through Coffman, St. Mary and Chester. One of the other tornadoes, which hit Fredericktown, and was rated at an EF-3 and its path was 16.5 miles long.

Cleanup efforts began in Fredericktown in the days after the tornado went through. Crews worked to remove fractured trees and other damage left behind from the strong winds. Red Cross volunteers from the St. Louis area are involved in recovery efforts and are helping to distribute cleaning supplies. 

Anthony Smith's home was destroyed in the storm. A couple days after the tornado hit, he told 5 On Your Side he saw the wind pick up and then told his family to rush to the basement.

"I literally said I think we need to start to go downstairs and when I said that, a bomb went off and all the insulation from the attic was blowing around, we couldn’t see. I felt like I was in an action movie," Smith added. 

He knew right away before rushing to the basement, he had to grab his dad. 

"My dad does dialysis, he has kidney failure and he takes sleep medicine to help him sleep and he took it, I ran and I scooped him up like a baby. As I was doing that, the bedroom roof ripped off and got him downstairs," Smith explained. 

The family was buried in the basement by debris. A neighbor dug them out and now is letting the family stay there.

Other smaller tornadoes were rated at EF-1 in Reynolds County and Iron County in Missouri, and an EF-0 went through Washington County, Illinois.

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