A large tornado tore through southeastern Missouri before dawn on Wednesday, causing widespread destruction and killing at least five people.
The tornado touched down around 3:30 a.m. in Bollinger County, about 50 miles south of St. Louis.
Trees were uprooted, homes were destroyed, and one building was flipped on its side.
Emergency crews used chainsaws to clear debris and search for survivors and victims.
The damage was extensive, and the sheriff of Bollinger County described it as heartbreaking.
The tornado caused significant destruction in the small communities of Glen Allen and Grassy, and at least five people were killed.
Many residents were unable to access the affected areas due to law enforcement restrictions.
Tornadoes are particularly dangerous when they occur at night or early in the morning.
Weather officials noted that the tornado was significant and traveled for about 15 minutes, covering an estimated 15-20 miles.
There were reports of people missing and trailers being damaged.