Outages, storm damage across St. Louis area

1:05 AM, Apr 23, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Lambert Airport storm damage

Video: Rain clouds approaching Earth City

Video: I-270 a parking lot

Video: Severe storms blow roof off Granite City home

Video: Close lightning strike

  • NewsChannel 5 viewer submits this picture of a downed tree in the Rose Acres neighborhood in Maryland Heights.
  • Submitted by viewer Jill Wilhelm.
  • Lambert Airport storm damage. By Kasey Joyce.
  • Shuttle bus teetering over Lambert Airport parking garage. (By viewer Brett Knewitz)

St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Three days after the St. Louis area was pounded by high winds and hail, damaging bands of severe weather moved across eastern Missouri on Friday.

The morning and early afternoon was filled with reports of hail falling across the area, varying in size from quarter to baseball-size.

There were also unconfirmed reports Friday evening of tornados in the Dardenne Prairie and New Melle in St. Charles County.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport sustained damage after a reported tornado touched down near the airport. Several glass windows were blown out of Concourse C, which houses Air Tran, American, Cape Air and Frontier airlines.

Lambert Airport closed for the night because of the weather-related damage. Eight flights hiding toward the airport had to be diverted to Kansas City.

Hundreds of air travelers coming to St. Louis were diverted to other airports, after severe weather caused major damage to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

NewsChannel 5's Mike Bush and Eric Voss were returning to St. Louis, after an assignment in San Diego, California. Their flight from Las Vegas to St. Louis was diverted to Kansas City. They weren't alone.

They, and many of the passengers, will rent cars and drive back to the St. Louis area.

Travelers at Lambert Airport were being treated for cuts and scrapes to their legs after the glass blew out from the concourse. Fifty percent of the glass in Terminal 1 was destroyed. Five hundred people were at the airport at the time of the storm. Only two people had to be taken to a hospital for further treatment.

Crews are working to assess the full extent of the damage at the airport. Part of the roof of Concourse C was torn off.

In Maryland Heights, the owners of the Wagner Portrait Group, located in the 12100 block of Prichard Farm Road, said a tornado touched down on top of or near their business around 8 p.m.  Bricks were cast off the structure, windows were blown out, and the sustained wind damage has left one wall structurally weak, they said.  One of the hardest hit areas of the building is where many workers would be sitting.  The owner's dog was at the business when the storm struck, but managed to escape the building and avoid injury.  Four vehicles in the parking lot were seriously damaged as well.

Curran Hennessey, a Michigan resident waiting to return home, was seated in a plane connected to the gate when the storm hit. He said strong winds picked the plane up and moved it about 20 feet. No one was seriously injured in that incident.

MetroLink halted service to the airport after the Hanley station. Metro bus service is delayed in the northern corridor.

Ameren Missouri reported more than 44,000 power outages across the area, primarily in the North St. Louis County region.  In southern Illinois, more than 3,100 customers lost power.  This comes just days after more than 82,000 customers lost power as a result of Tuesday's storms.

I-270 turned into a parking lot in both directions early Friday evening.  Traffic on I-270 finally started moving aronud 11:35 p.m.

In downtown St. Louis, Busch Stadium officials hurriedly moved several thousand Cardinals fans to a safe area as tornado sirens blared.  The game, originally scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m., was postponed until around 9:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings and watches Friday afternoon and evening for a broad swath of eastern and southern Missouri, as well as southern Illinois.

St. John's Hospital reported treating only a few people for minor injuries.  Those individuals were treated and released.

On the Illinois side of the river, severe storms tore a roof off of a home in Granite City.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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