Tornado | St. Louis Public Radio

Tornado

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

One year ago tomorrow a rare winter tornado tore through the St. Louis County suburb of Sunset Hills. Since then residents who could repair their homes have moved on, but as St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, those who lost everything are still battling city hall for the future of the neighborhood.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Nearly a year after a tornado damaged 91 homes in the area, residents of the Lewis Place neighborhood in north St. Louis are getting some help from the state of Missouri.

The Board of Aldermen on Friday voted to accept $500,000 in state disaster assistance. The city's required $500,000 match came from community development funds. Mayor Francis Slay will sign the measure as soon as he can.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri is getting more than $5 million from the federal government to help in the long-term recovery for people hit by tornadoes and flooding.

The grant announced Wednesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be available to help people hit by tornadoes in the Joplin and St. Louis areas, as well as flooding along the Mississippi River and in southern Missouri.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The 12-month, $30-million repairs to a tornado-damaged Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are on time, and on budget, says the airport's director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.

Contractors started removing boards and installing new windows on the front of the main terminal today. Most of the glass on the less-visible north side of the terminal has already been replaced.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri college students and staff are being asked to donate a weekend or a holiday this semester and take part in ongoing relief efforts in Joplin.

On May 22, the southwest Missouri city was devastated by a massive tornado that killed more than 150 people.  A campaign called “Show Me U Care” is recruiting groups of students, faculty and staff from college campuses across Missouri to travel to Joplin and help rebuild homes and provide other needs.

(via Google Maps screen capture)

MSD holds public hearings on rate increase

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District's independent Rate Commission is holding the first in a series of public hearings Monday on a proposed rate increase. The proposal would increase customer wastewater rates to help fund more than a billion dollars in needed wastewater system investments between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2016.

Storm water rates would not be affected by the rate increase.

(via Wikimedia Commons/FEMA Photo Library)

You may hear tornado sirens in St. Louis County again this week. But it won’t be because of bad weather.

The county sounded the new sirens two weeks ago, on Labor Day, and said the new omni-directional, solar-powered system worked largely as hoped. But spokesman David Wrone said they received reports that residents couldn’t hear 14 of the sirens. That doesn’t necessarily mean the sirens aren’t working.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The U.S. set a record for the most tornadoes in one month in April.

The final report for the month shows 753 twisters across the country, including a super outbreak on April 25-28 that killed more than 300 people in the South and Midwest. The tornado that roared through the St. Louis area on April 22 was part of that outbreak.

The tornado total is down from the preliminary count of 875 that generated widespread publicity. But the federal Storm Prediction Center says it still tops the former monthly record of 543 tornadoes in May 2003.

(via Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is asking President Barack Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for 23 northern counties hit by severe storms and flooding along the Missouri River. He announced the request Monday.

The disaster request would cover events since June 1. If approved, it would allow government aid to flow to families and public agencies that have suffered losses. The counties included in the request are:

Adam Allington, SLPR news

St. Louis county homeowners or renters who were impacted by the April 22nd tornado or storms must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week to learn if they qualify for grant assistance.

 The deadline to register with FEMA is Friday, July 29th.

 Andrea Jackson-Jennings is the Director of Human Services for St. Louis County. She says, so far, FEMA has taken nearly 1500 registrations in St. Louis County and provided more than $971,000 in grants to individuals and families.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon says the state will play a long-term role in rebuilding housing in Joplin after the deadly May 22 tornado.

Nixon will travel to Joplin today to announce what he describes as a "major initiative to address both the near-term and long-term housing needs."

He says it will involve both federal and state resources to support home construction.

The tornado killed 159 people and destroyed thousands of homes while wiping out a large section of the city.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Nearly two months after a tornado damaged hundreds of homes in north St. Louis County, some victims are facing a new trauma caused by looters.

KSDK-TV reports that residents and police in Berkeley say it is a crime of opportunity, with criminals stealing from people trying to rebuild after the April 22 twister.

Resident Tonya Brown says two break-ins this week are keeping her family from returning home, as thieves have stolen pipes in the house.

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

A World War II veteran is the latest victim of the EF-5 tornado that devastated Joplin almost a month ago.

City officials say 88-year-old Edmon A. Cooper died June 16 from injuries he suffered during the May 22 storm. His death is the 155th linked to the tornado.

An obituary in the Joplin Globe says Cooper was a retired mechanic  who served in the Army in World War II. He also worked at a southeastern Missouri apple orchard.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

A former Republican Senator from Missouri is leading a new non-profit organization that will offer business loans to businesses who want to build or expand in Joplin.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Lambert Airport officials say it could take up to a year to repair all of the damage inflicted by the Good Friday tornado. The twister blew out windows and tore part of the roof off of the C Concourse. The concourse has been closed off since the night of the tornado, with gates and waiting areas moved to the D Concourse, which had been closed previously.

(Screen capture via YouTube user mbost89)

Severe Weather and Tornadoes Hit Missouri...Again

Storms capable of producing tornadoes pounded parts of the state Wednesday afternoon.

In Sedalia, Mo., a tornado destroyed dozens of mobile homes and heavily damaged several businesses along one of the city's main highways. No one was killed and only 15-to-25 minor injuries were reported.

Acting Police Chief Larry Ward says despite all the damage, it feels like Sedalia dodged a bullet.

(Mike Smith)

This morning as the National Weather Service upgraded the tornado risk to "high" for the St. Louis area this afternoon, meteorologist and severe weather expert Mike Smith joined us for St. Louis on the Air.  Smith called this the "worst tornado season" since the 1950's and cautioned that complacency about risk can be one of the deadliest factors during any storm. 

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Joplin City Leaders Not Giving Up Hope

Officials in Joplin refuse to abandon hope of finding more survivors in the wreckage from Sunday night's tornado that killed at least 122 people and injured 750 more.

Rescuers are preparing to go over ground searched as many as three times already. The search has been described as "methodical" with rescuers going house-to-house searching for those trapped in the rubble.

flickr/Marcin Wichary

More violent weather could be headed to the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Although as of 7 a.m. this morning, no severe weather warnings have been issued, the National Weather Service is expecting a significant severe weather outbreak today.

Meteorologist Melissa Byrd with the National Weather Service, says the weather will effect most of Mo. and Ill., especially over the eastern half of Mo. and the southern half of Ill.

Missouri could get more severe weather through mid-week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kramper says a slow-moving system is working its way from the Rockies.

Kramper says as cool dry air from the north collides with warm humid air from the south, there could be more tornadoes.

Previously, parts of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area were under a tornado watch. This tornado watch has now been lifted.

For the latest updates from the National Weather Service, see this update page.

Joplin, Mo. was also hit particularly hard from this round of tornadoes and storms. Fatalities have been confirmed.

See previous updates after the break.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Jake Wagman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was also used in this report.

Vice President Joe Biden is getting a first-hand look at damage left from a tornado that hit the St. Louis area last month.

Biden flew into the area Wednesday morning and took a walking tour with Gov. Jay Nixon of portions of the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley.

Neighborhoods there still showed signs of ruin from the April 22 storms. Some large trees remain toppled onto houses while piles of debris were found along many of the streets.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri State Treasurer is making low-interest loans available to over 40 counties trying to rebound from a string of weather-related disasters.

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who was in the St. Louis region Tuesday, says the loans will help homeowners and businesses qualify for loans in less than 24 hours.

Zweifel also says the new program will cut red tape and help qualified borrowers receive low-interest assistance loans in less than 24 hours.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

President Obama has issued a disaster declaration for portions of Missouri affected by recent storms, tornadoes and flooding.

The disaster declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in St. Louis, Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid and Taney counties, according to a White House press release. Funding is also available for State and eligible local governments, along with certain private non-profit organizations.

FEMA teams in St. Louis to assess damage from tornadoes

Apr 27, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are on the ground in St. Louis to assess the damage from last week's tornadoes. Their findings will be part of Missouri's request for Federal assistance.

FEMA investigators are gathering data on a variety of factors-including the number of displaced people, effects on the local economy, and how much property was uninsured.

Josh DeBerg is a spokesperson for FEMA. He says the main criteria for federal aid boils down to a question of resources.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Cleanup operations are ongoing in St. Louis as the region recovers from the worst tornado in over 40 years.

Lambert St. Louis Airport will be back up to 100 percent capacity by tomorrow.

Airport officials have relocated American airlines into the unused D Concourse.  This is after hundreds of windows were blown out and severe damage to the roof of the C Concourse.

Zero deaths and only minor injuries were reported.

In the nearby town of Ferguson,  Peter Menke owns one of nearly 800 homes that have been condemned because of storm damage.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Resources:

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has released information to help those recovering avoid a "storm chasers" scam

Metro Transit is providing access to public transit to St. Louis County residents whose vehicles are buried under debris.  Metro Transit travels the affected communities and will help tornado victims get  to where they need to go via MetroBus and MetroLink. For more information, see this link.

To report power outages to Ameren, call 1-800-552-7583 (and you can see current listings of power outages).

Red Cross shelter and assistance information (Update: Maryland Heights shelter closing, supplies still available in Dellwood).

American Red Cross will be offering clean-up items from a fixed location at the Dellwood Recreation Center. See this link for more information.

Catholic Charities is accepting donations and providing assistance as well: call 314-367-5500

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626. 

People in St. Louis County who need assistance or want to volunteer can call 314-615-5000.

Lambert Airport list of airlines with contact information

From Mayor Slay via Twitter: For city residents, use @stlsb to report storm damage in your neighborhood.

 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The threat of severe weather has moved south and east of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area, though flood warnings remain in effect along many of the area rivers. The National Weather Service is also warning of possible flash flooding, and has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory until 1 a.m.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today the availability of low-interest federal disaster loans to victims of the 2010-2011 New Year's Eve tornadoes.

According to an SBA release, the Administration acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following the denial on Jan. 26 of the state’s request for a major disaster declaration.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon formally requested federal aid for victims of the New Year's Eve tornadoes that hit several areas of the state - but that request has been denied.

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