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Tornado Warning Comes Minutes Before Kickoff

Every tornado warning is important, but one on Friday night in particular almost certainly saved lives.

With Missouri’s Cass Midway High School set to host Drexel High School at 7pm on Friday night in a high school football game in Harrisonville, Missouri, about 30 miles south of Kansas City, Cass County authorities decided to evacuate Memorial Stadium and approximately 250 people after a tornado warning was issued for the area.

It’s a good thing they did.

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An EF-1 tornado ripped through the field, destroying the stadium’s scoreboard and tossing around bleachers, leaving behind a lengthy trail of destruction. However, no injuries were reported, thanks to the NWS’ lengthy warning and critical, intelligent decisions by local authorities.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Pleasant Hill, Missouri first issued a tornado warning for Cass County at 6:32pm CDT – giving residents there nearly half an hour to prepare for the storm. Local authorities evacuated the stadium, likely saving lives and almost certainly saving hundreds from injuries. Two tornadoes with the same storm were confirmed; one in Miami County, Kansas, and the other in Cass County.

Several homes were damaged and minor injuries were reported from the tornadoes as well, but no life-threatening injuries or deaths resulted from the two tornadoes that were on the ground for a combined 39 minutes.

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Let this story serve as the ultimate reminder to always heed tornado warnings – they save lives.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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