Photo and video show widespread damage from ‘wedge tornado’ in Missouri

David A. Lieb/AP

At least 20 people were hurt when a tornado ripped through Missouri’s capital city late Wednesday, as part of a violent storm system that hammered different parts of the state — causing widespread damage in Jefferson City and killing three people more than 170 miles away, in tiny Golden City.

David A. Lieb/AP

David A. Lieb/AP

“We were very fortunate last night that we didn’t have more injuries than what we had, and that we didn’t have more fatalities across the state,” Gov. Mike Parson said at an early-morning news conference Thursday.

The National Weather Service received word of damage in Jefferson City from the “wedge tornado” — wider in its funnel than it is tall — at 11:47 p.m. local time, urging residents to “shelter now!” The tornado moved at 40 mph through the city in central Missouri and shot debris about 13,000 feet into the air.

Chris Higgins/AP

“At this point, it’s too early to tell how large the scale of damage will be,” Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams said just hours after the tornado struck. “It’s a chaotic situation right now. We are trying to identify the people that need our help the most.”

Stechshultsy/AP

Stechshultsy/AP

AP/AP

Armond Feffer/AP

Stringer/Reuters

This story will be updated as more information and visuals are available.