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15 Years Later, Battlefield Residents Recall 2003 Tornado

BATTLEFIELD, Mo. -- On May 4, 2003, a tornado outbreak swept through Southwest Missouri leaving 25 people dead and towns destroyed. 
 
15 tornadoes touched down in several different cities. In the next few days, communities tried grasping the magnitude of what had happened, started cleaning up and searching for survivors.

One of those tornadoes left some damage in Battlefield. Some residents say they heard it and some even saw it coming. 

"If you were looking in that direction you could see it coming up and then it just turned to the right and went north," said Stacy Molnar. 

She had moved into her house less than a year before the tornado came. 

"It was a Sunday. Beautiful day. The sun was shining and all of a sudden the tornado warnings were going off, all of a sudden it was really windy and you could hear it coming," she said. "It's got the train sound and then it got closer. you could hear the wind, and then all of a sudden it gets quiet." 

Debris covered her backyard and neighborhood. 

"We came out afterward and there is debris falling and it just lands in the pool," she said. "And it took like 30 minutes for the stuff to just quit falling." 

A few blocks away, John and Sharon Mammorello had lived for years before they experienced their first tornado. 

"Never had one and then one boom," John said. "It came about as fast as it went because 20 minutes it was over." 

"It left great, big logs like that just straight across the field," said Sharon, pointing to a photo of a giant log. She took photos several of the damage after the storm had passed. She keeps those memories in a photo album. 

 The title reads in part "keep me safe until the storm passes by," 

"I thought that as appropriate," she said.  

The family says they now take the warning seriously. They now have a storm shelter, but hope they never have to use it. 


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