Over Two Dozen Tornadoes Strike From Plains to Southeast; Four Injured at Naval Base in Georgia

Drew MacFarlane
Published: December 3, 2018

A storm system that tore from the Plains into the Southeast this weekend produced more than two dozen tornadoes and left behind a trail of destruction in several states.

Five people were injured in southeastern Georgia, including four at a nearby Naval base, when a tornado struck Camden County Sunday around 4 p.m., Action News Jax reported.

A pair of sailors at Kings Bay Naval Base were injured when they were thrown from a patrol boat and two fishermen on a close by pier suffered minor injuries, base officials reported.

(MORE: The Next Wintry Mess Is on Its Way)

Scott Bassett, a public information officer at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, told weather.com that no submarines were damaged in the storm. He said there was wind damage to a pier facility in the southeast part of the base where smaller Coast Guard vessels dock. He also said the storm knocked down utility poles and flipped vehicles.

The same system spawned an EF3 tornado Saturday that left more than 500 buildings damaged or destroyed and 26 people injured in Taylorville, Illinois. The tornado struck the town of about 11,200 residents just after 5 p.m. Saturday.

Marie Sheedy hauls salvageable items from the destroyed remains of her son Don's shop, an old train shed, as residents dig out and clean up tornado debris in Taylorville, Illinois, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018.
(Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

The storm system also was responsible for at least four tornadoes that caused extensive damage in Oklahoma and killed one person in a southwestern Missouri.

Fire Chief Robert Ward told KYTV that one person inside an Aurora, Missouri, motel was killed as a storm passed through. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado in the area. An EF0 was confirmed to have hit Monett, Missouri.

Authorities have not released the person's name or details of how the death occurred.

A tornado was reported near Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, around 9:30 p.m. CST. Widespread damage was reported around the Lake Tenkiller area as the storm tracked on towards Arkansas. The storm was accompanied by a strong tornado debris signature, indicating that significant damage may have occurred for some time.

As daylight arrived Saturday, extensive damage could be seen from social media posts, including damage to the Snake Creek Marina at Lake Tenkiller.

"There's nothing left. No marina. Nothing. My boat's gone and everything is gone," Michael Martin told KOTV. "This is devastating right here. I mean few of the docks have been torn up, but these are destroyed. There ain’t nothing left down there."

Law enforcement reported several homes damaged in the town of Tenkiller, according to ABC 40/29 News.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane told the news station a family trapped in a storm cellar by a downed tree was rescued.

In Gore, Oklahoma, three homes were damaged, one severely, and in Aurora, a car dealership sustained heavy damage.

Several homes were damaged in Van Buren, Arkansas.

In Missouri, a wind gust to 83 mph was recorded near Republic, and in Ridgedale, the top two Floors of D'Monaco Resort sustained significant damage, the National Weather Service reported.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes had hit Oklahoma on Friday. Webber Falls saw an EF1 tornado that traveled about 7 miles. The tornado that hit near Lake Tenkiller was an EF2 that traveled about 25 miles and had top winds of 125 mph.

An area of low pressure moved into the southern Plains Friday night and intensified, said weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam. This system combined with mild and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico to produce strong to severe thunderstorms Friday night from northern Texas into southern Missouri.

This system will continue tracking eastward and will bring the risk of severe storms, with damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes, to parts of the South and Midwest, possibly as far north as central Illinois and central Indiana on Saturday, Lam said.

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