Tornado leaves significant damage in Saline County

Tornado damage was present throughout Saline County after strong storms passed through the area Sunday.

Residents on Route E spent the better part of Sunday cleaning up piles of debris from farm sheds and other structures destroyed by a tornado that touched down Saturday evening.

On Sunday, Governor Nixon declared a state of emergency in response to the severe weather that brought high winds and heavy rains to many parts of the state.

Saturday's severe weather also spawned two tornados, one of them in Saline County near Marshall.

Much of the damage on Route E centered on property belonging to Charles Bartlett. Even though his house made it through the storm in one piece, the tornado ripped his equipment sheds off their foundation, scattering their pieces all over his fields.

Most of the neighborhood spent Sunday pitching into help get the debris out of his fields.

"Both buildings are completely gone," said Bruce Bartlett. "There's damage to the house, the roof, the equipment inside the buildings. We don't know the full extent yet."

Several other properties nearby suffered damage too. Neighbor Sharon Marsh said her family returned home from dinner to discover shingles all over their front lawn.

"When we came home, we had to have some help putting some tarps on the roof because it had lost a lot of shingles," Marsh said.

Marsh said in the morning, she was glad to see her neighbor's homes were okay. However, she said the tornado left a big mess in its wake.

"It was devastating," Marsh said. "We've been over here since 7 a.m. after we got up. We don't have any electricity, still don't."

Marsh said her husband grew up on the same farm and said tornados are rare.

"I asked in all the years that you lived here, did you have a storm like this, a tornado? And he said no, this is the first time."