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Tornado hits the St Louis area closes their Airport after storms tores through a terminal

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Tornado closes St Louis Airport

by JIM SALTER and JIM SUHR

The Associated Press/KMOV-TV CBS St Louis wire reports

April 23, 2011

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- "St. Louis' main airport was closed for business Saturday while crews cleaned up after an apparent tornado tore through a terminal, causing several injuries and sending people scurrying for shelter as plated glass shattered around them.

 

All incoming and outgoing flights have been grounded.

 

Friday evening's storm at Lambert Airport ripped away a large section of the main terminal's roof, forcing the airport to close indefinitely and diverting incoming flights to other cities. National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Truett confirmed Saturday it was a tornado that struck the airport.

 

He said it was possible that a tornado that touched down near the St. Charles County town of New Melle was the one that ripped into the airport and apparently other parts of St. Louis County. If that was the case, the tornado sustained itself for roughly 30 miles.

 

"We think it touched down at New Melle and maybe lifted up and touched down again at the airport," Truett said. "We still have to connect the dots to be sure."

 

High winds, possibly from the same tornado, damaged an estimated 50 homes in Maryland Heights, not far from the airport, and a 45-foot-tall steeple fell during evening Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said there was a swath of damage through his community, also near the airport, consistent with a tornado. Several other St. Louis County communities reported damage to homes and numerous trees and power lines down.

 

The storm also brought absurdly large hail to some areas -- softball-sized in Warren County, west of St. Louis. Flash flooding closed some roads, including Highway 67 near Farmington.

 

But amid all the damage, there was relief that things could have been worse. Only four people with minor injuries were taken to the hospital from Lambert, while an unspecified number of others were treated at the scene for cuts blamed on flying glass. There were no reports of injuries anywhere else.

 

"We're fortunate we didn't have larger (numbers) of injuries," airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said.

 

The airport's main terminal sustained the most damage. Hamm-Niebruegge said roughly half of that structure's windows were blown out, sending glass and rain into that building. Elsewhere on the property, trees were toppled and power lines downed, further limiting access to the airport even hours after the storm passed."

 

 

For more here link: http://www.kmov.com/news/local/Storms-cause-damage-at-Lambert-Airport-minor-injuries-reported-120523519.html

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