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Winter Tornado Hits Missouri

A tornado knocked down trees Monday in southeastern Missouri and wind or possible tornadoes damaged homes in nearby southern Illinois.

A band of stormy weather rolling across the nation's midsection also produced possible tornado sightings in extreme western Kentucky, and thunderstorms knocked out power and flooded streets in Arkansas

The National Weather Service issued tornado watches Monday for southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, northwestern Mississippi, southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas.

Wind or a possible tornado damaged homes around Cambria and Carterville in southern Illinois, Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy Joann Schmid said.

No injuries were reported but Schmid said about 20 to 30 homes were damaged in and around Cambria, and the roof was blown off a garage at the city's municipal complex.

"I heard that front door blow open, then I looked back out here and this roof just went. It was weird," said Cambria city employee John Vaughn, who was in a nearby building when the storm hit.

In southeastern Missouri's Bollinger County, weather service radar spotted a tornado near the town of Glenallen and trees were knocked over in the area.

Weather service radar also indicated a possible tornado in western Kentucky.

Weather service meteorologist Scott Truett said that while January is certainly not the peak time for tornadoes in Missouri, they're not that unusual at this time of year.

"When you get the clashes of the winter-type air to the north, and the warm, humid air to the south, that's what happens," Truett said.

High wind blew down power lines and caused roof damage early today in northern Arkansas, and authorities in Newton County said trees were down along an approximately 20-mile stretch. Utilities reported about 700 customers without power.

The wind overturned a tractor-trailer rig near Morrilton, Ark., and rain left water standing 11 inches deep on some streets in Arkansas' Independence County.

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