Tornado | St. Louis Public Radio

Tornado

Sue Spencer surveys what remains of her home on County Road 806 in Perryville. A tornado tore through the area in late February, destroying the home she lived in for three decades.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The sirens started a little before 8 p.m. on the last night of February. Residents of Perry County, in southeastern Missouri,  retreated to their basements — many of them not expecting the incoming tornado with a 14-mile-long and half-mile-wide path. Within an hour, the tornado had killed one man, damaged more than 100 homes and leveled dozens more.  

Three months later, there are signs that rebuilding is underway. Structures now stand where fallen trees, busted up car frames, and mangled bits of homes were scattered before. Perryville’s residents are recovering, hiring contractors, negotiating with insurance companies, and even managing the aftermath of severe flooding in April.

Carrie Tripp, with the Perry County School District, spent Wednesday helping residents clean their damaged homes. (March, 1, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4 p.m., March 1, 2017 — Residents of Perryville, Mo., are recovering from a tornado that ripped through the town late Tuesday, killing one man and damaging more than 100 homes.

Many homes in the community about 90 miles south of St. Louis were left only with a foundation, Perryville Fire Chief Jeremy Triller said.

Among those who lost their homes to the tornado was Lisa Ervin, who works at the Subway in Marble Hill, Mo. Her A-frame house was destroyed.

“It’s no longer there,” she said. “Our attic is over there in our neighbor’s yard.”

Washington is just starting to rebuild.

Much of the central Illinois town was wiped away by a half-mile-wide tornado in November. In all, 1,108 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable — a huge share of the housing stock in a city of 15,000.

"Early on, people were asking me how long it was going to take to rebuild the city, and I said we'll do it in a year," says Mayor Gary Manier. "That was wishful thinking."

Author Lee Sandlin On The History Of Tornado Chasing

Apr 2, 2014
Frank Blau Photography

This is the time of year when we begin to worry about severe weather. From thunderstorms to hail, high winds to tornados, we get more than our share. 

Cindy Shuford and her daughter
Provided by the family

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Cindy Shuford of Washington, Ill., was at church Sunday when word came that a tornado was fast approaching. Taking cover in one of the building’s windowless rooms, Shuford first thought of her 22-year-old daughter, working the deli counter at Kroger.

“I just kept thinking of her, and I wanted to see her face,” Shuford said, in a telephone interview.

The National Weather Service says there were a total of nine tornadoes in the St. Louis region on Friday night.

Tim Lloyd, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Attorney General's office is warning the public to be on guard against price gouging following last week's round of tornadoes and thunderstorms that pounded the St. Louis area.

Joe Bindbeutel is Chief Counsel of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.  He says so far they've received some second-hand reports of price gouging.

Severe Weather Hits St. Louis Area

Apr 18, 2013
(via Wikimedia Commons/FEMA Photo Library)

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for St. Louis City and several Missouri counties, including Iron, Jefferson, Madison, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve and Washington. The Tornado Watch is in effect until 11 a.m.

Wrongful death suit filed in wake of Joplin disaster

Sep 17, 2012
(UPI/Rick Meyer)

The wife and daughter of man killed inside a Walmart store when a massive tornado hit Joplin are suing.

The Joplin Globe reported that the wrongful death lawsuit names Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the store's manager as defendants. The case, initially filed in Jasper County Circuit Court, was transferred Friday to federal court.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is asking the State Emergency Management Agency to explain why the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton has not received $500,000 in FEMA funds to help it recover from the 2011 Good Friday tornado.

Kinder chairs an interim legislative committee on disaster preparedness, response and recovery, which agreed today to give SEMA 48 hours to respond.  

Harrisburg tornado's death toll rises to 8, months after storm

Jun 1, 2012
UPI/Paul Newton/The Southern

A February tornado that tore through a section of the southern Illinois town of Harrisburg has claimed an eighth victim.

Saline County's coroner says 74-year-old R. Blaine Mauney of Harrisburg died Thursday at a relative's home of injuries he sustained in the Feb. 29 tornado Feb. 29.

According to authorities, Mauney had been in several hospitals since the tornado that injured about 100 other people.

Mauney's funeral services are pending.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

A massive tornado tore through the St. Louis area a year ago this Sunday. Lambert Airport was hit particularly hard, but few signs of the damage remain today.  

Congressman Lacy Clay of St. Louis recalls seeing the airport just hours after the tornado struck on Good Friday.

“Once I got to the airport, I could not believe all of the glass that was blown out of the structure," Clay said. "And then looking at the parking lot: seeing the cars and vans that were on top of each other. It was just amazing.”

Quinn announces aid to southern Ill. tornado victims

Apr 2, 2012
(UPI/Steve Jahnke /The Southern)

Harrisburg and other southern Illinois communities affected by a deadly tornado in February are getting up to $13 million in state and Small Business Administration aid.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced Monday that the help includes reimbursements to local governments for some of their disaster-related expenses and road improvements. The aid also involves grants for home repairs and low-interest loans to storm-affected businesses.

New, ramped-up tornado warnings to start Monday

Apr 1, 2012
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

As of Monday, the National Weather Service will be issuing a new kind of tornado warning in Missouri and Kansas.

The new, more forceful and explicit messages are designed to get attention and drive people to take shelter during dangerous storms.

Tornado-damaged C Concourse to reopen at Lambert Airport April 2

Mar 27, 2012
(Screen Capture via YouTube)

Remember seeing this video? This was what happened to the C Concourse at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport almost a year ago.

The video shows what happened when a tornado ripped through the St. Louis area. The good news? The damaged C Concourse is about to reopen.

Morning headlines: March 22, 2012

Mar 22, 2012
(New Orleans Saints Press Kit)

Gregg Williams apologizes

Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is apologizing to the NFL, to St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams organization and football fans in general for running a bounty pool while he was in New Orleans.

Williams was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday by the NFL, and the Rams say he'll be eligible for reinstatement after the season.

Missouri to hold statewide tornado drill today

Mar 13, 2012
(via Wikimedia Commons)

At 1:30 p.m. today the entire state of Missouri will hold a tornado drill. So, if you hear warning sirens, don't worry, it's just a drill. However, if you notice any problems, such as malfunctioning alerts or warning sirens, tell us about them here in the comments, on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@stlpublicradio).

Because it's always good to be prepared, here's a website from the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency with more information on tornadoes, including the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch, and tips on getting to a safe place no matter where you are when a tornado threatens your area.

Morning headlines: March 12, 2012

Mar 12, 2012
UPI/Paul Newton/The Southern

Southern Ill. denied federal disaster aid

The parts of southern Illinois destroyed by deadly storms and a tornado last month will not be declared federal disaster areas.

U.S Senator Dick Durbin says FEMA's decision will make it tough on local government, businesses and individuals affected by the storms.

Death toll from Harrisburg tornado up to 7

Mar 8, 2012
(UPI/Steve Jahnke /The Southern)

Authorities in southern Illinois say a seventh person has died from injuries suffered in the EF-4 tornado that slammed into the town of Harrisburg on Feb. 29.

Saline County coroner Doug Watson says 70-year-old Donald Smith, a retired coal miner from Harrisburg, died Wednesday night at a hospital in Indiana. Smith's wife remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Most of the victims, including the Smiths, lived along a street that took the brunt of the storm, which authorities say was 200 yards wide and packed sustained winds of 170 miles per hour.

 

 

(UPI/Ryan Dean)

Mo. governor Jay Nixon is seeking federal assistance for 18 Missouri counties hit by last week's violent storms.

Nixon said Wednesday he has requested a federal major disaster declaration for parts of southern and northern Missouri struck by tornadoes, hail and high winds on Feb. 28 and 29. The weather was blamed for three deaths, dozens of injuries and widespread property damage.

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