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Hazelwood storm damage extensive

10:38 AM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - Emergency crews conducted a secondary sweep of the Hazelwood storm damaged homes and did not find anyone trapped.

Mayor Matthew Robinson said there are only reports of minor injuries. He said residents took the storm seriously and went to their basements or to a safe area when the storms rolled through Wednesday night.

The gas department was out all night turning off gas. The mayor said there was a report of a gas leak Thursday morning at the Teson Garden Apartments. There are five roofs torn off buildings.

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Mayor Robinson said the damage stretches one mile. He said there are about two dozen homes with damage near Lynn Haven Lane and noted there was more widespread damage than previously estimated.

The mayor, who grew up on Lynn Haven Lane, lives only five blocks away from his parents now and was checking on his mom and dad this morning. 

Brenda lives on Lynn Haven Lane and her home suffered extensive damage.  She said she heard rumbling and shaking, so she got her children downstairs.

Brenda and her daughter were heading downstairs and made it to the landing when she feared they would not make it in time.  She said she thought "Holy s---, what is hitting us?"

"Send everything," was the word that went out from Hazelwood to first responders around the St. Louis area said an EMT on the scene of destruction. Emergency crews staged at Armstrong Elementary School at 6255 Howdershell in Hazelwood.

"It's the worst Hazelwood has ever seen," said Mayor Matthew Robinson after he surveyed what damage he could see in the dark streets left powerless by the storm.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at Armstrong Elementary for those without a place to stay.  They relocated it around 9 a.m. Thursday to the Hazelwood Civic Center East at 8969 Dunn Road.

The Hazelwood School District cancelled school for Thursday, according to Diana Gulotta, a spokesperson for the Hazelwood School District.

Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall said police are in place to secure neighborhoods and keep out people who do not have the proper permits.  When asked about rumors of out-of-state contractors converging on the area, Chief Hall said no one would be allowed into the neighborhood without first checking in at the command center.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said the county would provide public works equipment and remove debris at the direction of local authorities.

"We're working with Mayor Robinson," Dooley said.  "Whatever he needs, we're gonna provide it for him."

KSDK

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