Young Mother Killed In Cuba, MO Storm

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CUBA, MO (KTVI)- A young mother was killed when a storm struck Cuba, MO about 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Debris from a grocery store lean-to and the roof of the town's post office flew onto the grocery parking lot where 28-year old Kayla Martin was sitting in her car.

Crawford County Coroner Paul Hutson said debris shattered Martin's windshield and struck her in the chest.  She had been talking to her brother who was parked next to her. They both were taken to Phelps County Hospital in Rolla where Martin was pronounced dead.  Her brother's injuries were not life threatening. 

Hutson said Martin was the mother of two children, including a newborn, and worked as the manager of the town's Phillips 66 station.

Heavy winds knocked down trees and power lines.  At 11pm, much of the community remained without electricity including all of the businesses at the Interstate 44 exit for Cuba.  Repair crews were working through the night to replace broken utility poles and to restring power lines. 

One major concern was the loss of power to the town's sewage treatment plant. City officials were worried they might be forced to release untreated sewage into a creek if power could not be quickly restored to the plant.

Resident Joseph South said the rain was coming in different directions.  At one point he said," We heard a noise... sounded like a a locomotive."  

South lives about half a block away from the grocery store where the fatal accident happened.

The storm damage was likely caused by a downburst, or strong winds caused by a collapsing thunderstorm.

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