Storm (Tornado) Damage from Friday hits Hazelwood and Ferguson (again)
Storms Follow A Familiar Path Through Bridgeton, Hazelwood, Ferguson
By Pat Lindsey
For the third time in just over two years, a tornado and accompanying storms have traveled nearly the same path through Bridgeton, Ferguson, and Hazelwood, leaving widespread destruction.
The May 31st tornado that hit these areas and the airport, as well as parts of St. Charles County and Illinois, left 85,000 homes in the North County area without power for two or more days. As of Tuesday, there were still 14,000 homes without power mostly in North County, south of Interstate 270.
The 60 guests who were staying at the Ramada Inn on Dunn Rd. near N. Lindbergh safely reached the lower level of the motel before the tornado ripped off a large portion of the motel’s roof. One guest sustained a broken arm, but a hotel representative attributed advanced warnings for preventing more injuries.
Along New Florissant Rd. near January-Wabash Park, tree limbs were piled high as Ameren teams made their way through the tree-lined streets of Ferguson . The large mature trees in that area have consistently wreaked havoc on that municipality after each big storm. Sensing a more urgent need among Ferguson residents, the Salvation Army has been providing services there bringing in food, water and supplies.
The storm caused extensive damage to several support
buildings and hangars at St. Louis International Airport. The damage altered , but won’t cancel exhibit plans for the Solar Impulse aircaft, which arrived at the airport early Tuesday morning. Instead of being exhibited in Building 2, the high-tech solar power plane will use its own prototype inflatable hangar in the same vicinity as the airport hangar. Plans call for public viewing of the huge wing-span solar plane on Thursday. Announcement of viewing times were expected later on Tuesday.
“We brought the inflatable hangar to the USA for testing purposes and in fact it allowed the mission to stay on schedule. This exercise is now a proof of concept: rather than taking the airplane to a hangar, we have taken the hangar to the airplane,” said André Borschberg, co-founder, CEO and pilot of Solar Impulse.
On the west side of Terminal 1, Lambert suffered roof damage to its primary Airfield Maintenance and Auto Shop complex. Portions of the roof were torn off and bay doors for the auto shop were damaged or collapsed during the storm. The airport also reported damage to its remote parking lot, Super Park Lot C.
Thirty-six American Red Cross trained disaster volunteers were assigned to the shelter at the James Eagan Center. Fifteen residents spent the night at the Florissant shelter Saturday night. Three emergency response vehicles have been moving through the hardest hit areas to assist in recovery efforts and provide snacks and meals to residents.
Anyone who has been affected by the recent storms can contact the American Red Cross at (314)516-2800 for disaster assistance. The Red Cross provides storm victims with basic emergency needs such as food, shelter, emotional support and a recovery plan. Contact the United Way by calling 2-1-1 or visit the United Way website at www.stl.unitedway.org/volunteer.aspx.
West Alton Flooding
MoDot (Missouri Department of Transportation) has been alerting drivers of closed roads due to storm damage and/or flooding. In West Alton, IL, residents were ordered to evacuate on Monday night after the Mississippi River crested. The southbound lane from the Clark Bridge was closed, but the northbound lane remained open as it’s on higher ground.
Motorists heading to Alton on Highway 367 are advised to check out conditions or MoDot website. Except for two instances in the 1990s, when flooding was so severe that both lanes were shut down, one lane has been open for two-way traffic during flooding conditions.
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