Marion County Emergency Management Director John Hark made comments to the media regarding last night's severe storms that caused significant damage to the City of Hannibal. Hark says that an official call on whether or not the storm was a tornado has yet to be made, though weather experts are investigating. 

We do have an area that we're looking at, that we're considering, that it seems to be [the area] that got the worst of it. It's north and east of the city, here, even though the tornado warning originally was for the southeast corner of Hannibal."

Hark warns residents that may have experienced damage to their property to make a careful assessment  before taking action. He notes that for those inexperienced with cutting wood, logs can easily roll and cause injury.

A word of extreme caution has been issued to anyone that may see downed power lines tangled in tree limbs. Hark says that even though there may not be power to a resident's home, that doesn't necessarily  mean that the line is dead. It is possible that other residents that are operating generators could back-feed power lines, making them extremely hazardous. Hark also notes that it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between different types of lines that may be out of place. His advice is to avoid any and all lines and call the Board of Public Works.

Hark is asking that residents do not call 911 to report tree limbs or power lines down. At this time, 911 is to only be used for life-threatening situations. As of now, no injuries or fatalities have been reported as a result of the storm.

Hark says that a priority right now is to restore power to the city, in addition to phone and cable service where it may still be out.

The City of Hannibal will be assisting with the removal of brush, though it will take several days before all the debris can be removed.