3 dead in Missouri as tornado strikes state capital

Nonessential state employees urged to stay home as recovery begins; more storms expected

At least three people were killed overnight Wednesday when severe storms and at least one tornado tore through the U.S. state of Missouri, leaving mass destruction in their wake.

All of the fatalities were recorded in the state's southwest Golden City area, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

One tornado, which the National Weather Service (NWS) described as large and destructive, tore through Missouri's capital of Jefferson City shortly before midnight. Nine people were hospitalized with storm-related injuries.

"Last night’s tornado activity and the increased flooding has been devastating our state," Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement published on social media.

Parson urged residents to aid the recovery effort by staying clear of debris caused by the storm.

He asked nonessential state employees in the capital to stay home Thursday as state buildings suffered damage overnight with some areas continuing to lack power.

The NWS is warning of the possibility of strong, possibly severe storms Thursday afternoon with the likelihood rising on Friday.

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