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UPDATE: Why didn’t tornado sirens go off?

Staff Writer
The Examiner
The Examiner

The city of Blue Springs and Central Jackson County Emergency Management Agency say conflicting information led to the outdoor storm warning sirens not going off during the brief tornado early Thursday.

The EF-0 tornado lasted just six minutes and traveled near the west and south edges of Blue Springs, according to the National Weather Service, before it lifted near Lake Lotawana before 3 a.m.

The city and CJCEMA said staff monitoring the weather through the night received “conflicting information about the tornado warning coverage area” and by the time that issue had been resolved the tornado was gone, so warning sirens in Blue Springs, Grain Valley and other CJC coverage areas did not sound.

“In light of this incident we are retraining staff on policies to err on the side of caution and always sound the sirens should a discrepancy in information occur in the future,” the city and management agency said in a joint release.

EF-0 is the lowest severity rating in classifying tornadoes. According to the Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill, the tornado started near Blue Springs Lake, crossed to the southeast over Woods Chapel Road and the eastern portion of Lake Jacomo and Fleming Park, then Missouri 7 and Colbern Road before it lifted near Lake Lotawana.

The tornado had an estimated peak wind of 85 miles per hour and reportedly caused mostly minor damage. Jackson County Parks + Recreation had downed trees and some building damage at its administrative offices Woods Chapel and Liggett roads, directly in the reported path.