Strong storms leave path of destruction across St. Louis area

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by KMOV.com and AP

KMOV.com

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 10:48 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Multiple tornadoes were reported moving east across the St. Louis area on Friday night, with reports of serious damage and minor injuries.

Emergency officials said a large and extremely dangerous tornado touched down near Bridgeton, with a path heading toward Lambert Airport around 8:15 p.m. Residents reported extensive storm damage near Harvester, Mo. Six people were reported to have minor storm-related injuries.

Officials at the St Charles Emergency Operations Center say at least 30 homes suffered significant structural damage to roofs and walls. Twelve of those damaged homes are on Haversham Drive. 

Two area middle schools, Barnwell on Jungs Station Road and Bryan Middle on Independence Road also suffered damaged in the storm. 

Roughly 40,000 electric customers throughout the region lost power. The combination of high water and fallen power lines closed dozen of roads, snarling traffic on highways and side streets.

Windows blew out of the hotel at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, damaging some cars parked outside with flying debris. Metal power poles in the parking lot snapped off at the base, and emergency managers reported the casino lost part of its roof.

Gamblers reported the walls shook in the poker room. Rich Gordon, of Jefferson City, said he was on the casino floor when he heard a "boom."

"I didn't know if it was lightning or what, but it was loud," Gordon said. Staff then ordered everyone off the casino floor.

St. Louis city spokeswoman Maggie Crane said four outbuildings at Lambert airport were damaged, and all flights were grounded until the storms cleared.

Tornado Warnings were issued across the St. Louis area as storms moved east around 40 mph.

Local authorities also confirmed tornado sightings in Woodriver and Hartford, Ill. around 8:45 p.m.

Interstate 70 was closed from Lindbergh to St. Charles on Friday night, according to emergency officials. Pattonville fire said several cars and trucks were overturned on I-70.

Riverview was closed from Hall St. to Chain of Rocks due to flooding, according to St. Louis police, with at least 4 feet of standing water.

The National Weather Service reported several downed trees. Parts of the area also had hail. Rainfall was heavy, prompting flash flood concerns.

Forecasters posted numerous tornado warnings beginning around 6:30 p.m. Friday in eastern Missouri. At least one tornado touched down in Montgomery County, about 70 miles west of St. Louis, but emergency manager Bob Bishop said there were no injuries.

The St. Louis Cardinals' game with the San Francisco Giants was canceled nearly 30 minutes before the severe weather was expected to arrive downtown.

Here are a number of links to help you prepare and track the system:

For up-to-date information on power outages visit the Ameren Missouri or Ameren Illinois outage maps.

Click here for the KMOV.com Storm Mode page with the latest weather condition updates.

Click here to upload your storm photos and video or e-mail photos to website@kmov.com

Log on to our Facebook page and tell us what the weather is doing where you are.

During weather events, the News 4 Meteorologists are constantly updating our KMOVWeather Twitter feed. The very latest watches and warnings are automatically posted to this feed.  You can view the feed below.

You can also stay aware of any weather threat with radar and forecast updates by downloading the KMOV mobile app!  

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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