A “violent tornado” has damaged hundreds of buildings in the capital of Missouri and forced the cancellation of the state’s Special Olympics summer games after the storm blew out windows and tore into the off the roof of the organization’s headquarters in Jefferson City.
The tornado was rated at least an EF-3 by the United States‘ National Weather Service with wind speeds of between 218 to 266 km/h.
The Enhanced Fujita Tornado Scale goes up to EF-5.
The tornado touched down late on Wednesday night around 11:45pm local time (04:45 GMT on Thursday) and left a trail of destruction 30km long.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said it damaged an estimated 500 homes and buildings and left 14,000 structures without electricity. Power was expected to have been mostly restored by Saturday.
Special Olympics multi-media manager Brandon Schatsiek says the Wednesday night tornado blew out windows and doors, tore a hole in a roof and damaged training facilities at the organization’s new $16.5m headquarters.
The games were supposed to be played May 31 through June 2 in Springfield, and about 1,000 athletes and coaches had been expected to attend the volleyball, swimming and track-and-field events.
The storm in Missouri’s capital was one of more than 100 tornadoes reported across the central United States in the same week.