BATTLEFIELD, Mo. — A tornado outbreak swept through Southwest Missouri on May 4, 2003, killing 25 people and destroying several towns.
15 tornadoes hit several different cities, including Battlefield, Missouri, just outside of Springfield. More than 3,00 homes and businesses were damaged.
Doug Cramer, with the National Weather Service, was responsible for issuing tornado warnings that night. He said forecasters feared the May 4, 2003 storms would wreak havoc days before it hit.
The tornado that hit Battlefield touched down in Pierce City. It was on the ground for about 45 miles and was as wide as half a mile. This tornado damaged many homes, a fire department, and a church. Hundreds of large trees were uprooted, and many people were hurt. Video of the damage is below.
KOLR10’s Tom Trtan and photographer Nick Penka were storm chasing that day near Marionville when they got incredibly close to this storm. You can see that footage in the video below.
Another tornado that hit that night in 2003 traveled through Stockton, Missouri and carved a path of 83 miles. Several people died in the path of this tornado. The tornado that hit the Camdenton area was also deadly, damaging homes with wind speeds of nearly 200 miles per hour.