Springfield neighborhood takes a beating from Tuesday’s wind, storms

Local News

SPRINGFIELD — Strong winds snapped big trees, and wrecked property at Fort Ave. and Catalpa St.

Almost a year ago to the day, the Ozarks saw an outbreak of 26 tornadoes across southwest Missouri, but cleanup is underway from last night’s storms.

Looking back at April 30, 2019 those 26 tornadoes caused wide-ranging damage across the Ozarks:

  • 11 EF-0’s
  • 14 EF-1’s
  • One EF-2

But on Wednesday, people were left to clean up from a round of storms that swept through on Tuesday. It was nothing compared to what we saw last year.

There were no tornadoes confirmed in the Ozarks from Tuesday, but we did see some very strong winds that wreaked some havoc of their own – especially near the intersection of Fort Ave. and Catalpa St. in Springfield.

That seems to be one of the hardest hit areas from Tuesday’s storms. Lee Rebert got the chance to survey the scene in his neighborhood Wednesday after what he describes as an unusual night.

“Quite a vibration, quite a ruckus. It was kind of different than the feeling any other storm. Got some damage across the street that was pretty bad. I go to work early in the morning so I didn’t get a chance to see it this morning, but just getting home and it’s pretty big,” Rebert says.

One woman let KOLR10/Ozarks FOX into her backyard to see her neighbors tree, which snapped and fell into her yard – flattening her fence, her shed, and fire pit. Strong winds even blew part of that tree over her house into her front yard.

Across the street, Abraham Mejia had to recruit the help of a friend after a tree was reduced to mostly debris thanks to winds that were as high as 66 mph in Springfield, according to the National Weather Service measurements near the Springfield Airport.

“We have this tree back here, and there was a huge branch that fell. It wasn’t all the way across the road, but it covered most of the sidewalk,” says Mejia.

Wednesday consisted of pulling down excess branches, and cutting them down to a manageable size. The debris in Mejia’s yard was enough to fill the back of a trailer, but he has other damage to tend to as well.

“On the back of my house I had a carport that just got blown over – it got snapped. If you look at it, you can see the metal beams it was sitting on, they were snapped off and right now it’s just sitting on top of my roof. I’m waiting for insurance to call me back, but either that – if they don’t call me back by tomorrow, we’ll probably just bring it down,” Mejia says.

One issue for those left to cleanup from storms is what to do with their tree debris. The Yardwaste Recycling Center is closed due to the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order.

The statewide order is set to be lifted on May 4, but Greene County and the City of Springfield will announce their own set of further restrictions/guidelines on Thursday, April 30.

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