GOLDEN CITY, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says three people died in a tornado just outside of Golden City on Wednesday night.
The violent storm hit the area near SE 80th Lane and 126 Highway.
Opal and Gene Harris, a married couple in their 80’s, died and were found about 200 yards away from their home. Betty Berg, 56, died not far away from that location. She was in her mobile home with her husband, Mark Berg, who was critically injured.
Friends tell FOX4 he has two broken hips, among other injuries.
Preliminary results from the National Weather Service say the tornado that touched down just outside of Golden City had peak winds of about 140 miles an hour. According to the NWS, it was on the ground for 22 minutes, with a path of 12 miles, and has an EF-3 rating.
Golden City is about two hours south of the Kansas City metro, and about an hour north of Joplin.
“It’s just unimaginable the destruction this thing caused,” Dean Eastin, a friend of the Bergs said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Eastin and some of the Berg’s family members spent the day cleaning through the remnants of their mobile home.
“The foundation was there, sitting where the blue truck was and it blew it all the way across the road, twisted it like an S,” Berg said. “Snapped the trees, this was a big cedar tree right here.”
Trees are down all over the area. Some are split in half, and others were ripped off at the root.
“It’s just devastating what happened around here,” Eastin said. “I talked to Betty about a half-hour before it happened. We both told each other to be safe. I wish they’d have come to town.”