Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Home of Southeast alum destroyed in Perryville tornado

Thursday, March 9, 2017
What remained of Best's Perryville home after an F3 tornado raged through the town.
Photo by Katelyn Mary Skaggs

On Feb. 28, Perryville, Missouri, was hit by a classified F4 tornado that destroyed homes and businesses in the area.

The tornado was three-fifths of a mile wide and traveled more than 50 miles.

According to the Red Cross, 64 homes were destroyed by the storms and 24 more in the Perryville area were deemed uninhabitable. The tornado also destroyed homes in Ava and Christopher, Illinois. One person was killed and 10 more were injured.

Southeast alumni Lisa Best, class of 1992, and Cody Comte, class of 2014, were among those whose homes were destroyed. Best's second story was destroyed while Comte's home was completely ripped from it's foundation.

When the storm hit, Best, her husband and their daughters were in the basement of her home.

"You knew it was happening but you didn't know if you were going to be part of it and sucked up," Best said. "All of a sudden, our ears hear like when you're on an airplane but worse."

Best and her family spent the following days cleaning out their home and saving what belongings they could.

Many of their belongings were destroyed -- including her Southeast graduation gown, which she found in shreds.

Best's home will have to be demolished because of the severity of the damage it sustained.

Comte's entire home was blown away. All that remains is the foundation. His cars were destroyed, his kitchen appliances have yet to be recovered and his bank statements were found in Du Quoin, Illinois, approximately 30 miles away.