Audrain County Emergency Management Director Nicholas Tietsort opened a Table-Top Exercise for an emergency scenario as part of the county’s first quarterly meeting for the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).
The scenario took the emergency officials to a face-to-face encounter with a Thursday morning tornado warning, received through the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
It advised of a Tornado Warning for the central Audrain County area.
At that time, the scenario included a semi-tanker hauling anhydrous ammonia pulled into the parking lot of 700 South Pine St. in Laddonia to wait out the storm.
Ten minutes later, high winds were soon followed by storm spotters reporting that the storm has damaged a large area of Laddonia.
This impacted houses in the southwest corner of Laddonia to the center of the city. During the storm, high winds impacted the semi-tanker and overturned it. This caused an anhydrous ammonia leak and ruptured the diesel fuel tank.
The driver of the semi-tank is injured and is unable to escape the cab on his own.
A 911 call at 9:25 a.m. calls out responder agencies after receiving multiple 911 calls.
Then 911 dispatchers report to responding units that there is a large amount of white smoke coming from the semi.
People at the scene and surrounding area are calling requesting medical attention. They complain of coughing, irritation when breathing, and burning of skin if the cloud touches them.
At 9:33 a.m., there are reports of small fires, power outages, trees blocking the roadway, and structure collapse along the area of the storm path.
At this time, the wind is calm, with 3-5 m.p.h. wind gusts coming from the southwest. Also, there is a placard identified on the semi showing the contents to be hazardous.
At this time, the group attending the Table Top exercise of the LEPC were asked to break up into small groups and work out micro scenarios of how this particular hazard should be handled by the respective represented groups such as The American Red Cross, the Audrain County Sheriffs Office, fire and rescue, the Mexico Public Safety, Audrain County Health Department, Superintendent of schools, Laddonia Fire, MoDOT, and more.
Read the rest of this story and meeting minutes in the January 23 issue of The Vandalia Leader.