At least a half dozen Hazelwood homes 'unlivable' after severe storms, tornado


by Staff

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 3:49 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 16 at 12:27 PM

( – The mayor of Hazelwood says at least a half dozen homes were unlivable after a severe storm and a confirmed tornado swept through the area late Wednesday night.

Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson said 24 homes had some form of roof damage.

After surveying damage in the area, a NWS survey team on Thursday found EF2 damage in Hazelwood on Woodcrest Lane behind Hazelwood West High School.

EF2 denotes wind speeds of 111 to 135 miles per hour, which the NWS says confirms a tornado in the area. It was not known exactly how much damage was directly caused by the tornado.

A little more than 5,700 Ameren Missouri Hazelwood customers were still without power as of 1 p.m. Thursday.

Authorities said in at least two cases, people trapped inside their homes by large trees blocking the doorways were rescued by neighbors.

Hazelwood residents said the storm was loud and frightening.

Pharmacy technician A.J. Goewert says he saw “a wall of bright light” before the storm lifted products off shelves and tore holes in the roof of a Hazelwood pharmacy.

Gary Buneta said the storm threw him from his dining room into a kitchen wall.  It also blew off his home’s roof and windows and downed trees in his yard.

And Ellen Knop says the storm destroyed her garage and left her front porch in the family room.

Hazelwood officials said Lynn Haven Lane had the most damage within Hazelwood. An apartment complex along Tesson Road also sustained heavy damage.

Hazelwood Police Department asks people to avoid Howdershell from Charbonier to Tesson and N. Highway 67/Lindbergh Road from Patterson to I-270 because of downed power lines. They suggest drivers take Florissant Road or New Halls Ferry Road.

The Red Cross has opened an emergency relief shelter for displaced residents at the Hazelwood Civic Center, which is located at 8969 Dunn Road.