By David Colburn
On April 22, the St. Louis metro area experienced yet another strain of severe weather. According to MSNBC, the tornado proved to be the most powerful twister to hit the metropolitan area since 1967, peaking at an EF-4 level on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Forbes.com confirms that the tornado was “part of a series of strong storms that struck central and eastern Missouri.”
Among the heavily affected areas is Lambert Airport. Hundreds of panes of glass were shattered at the main terminal and five individuals suffered minor injuries in Concourse C. Lambert spokesman Jeff Lea, believes that the injuries were from glass displaced by the storm.
The airport reopened for arriving flights on April 23 and departing flights began on April 24, as referenced on msnbc.msn.com. The same website estimates that complete repairs, including those for the still-closed Concourse C, could take roughly two months.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon claims that 100 homes in the St. Louis are “uninhabitable” and about 750 were damaged overall. According to Reuters, Nixon declared a state of emergency and released state funds for the clean-up effort.
Ameren Corp. quickly began work to restore power outages which affected 47,000 homes and businesses immediately following the storm. As of April 24, 2011, the utility claimed that 18,300 were still without electricity and the timeframe of restoration extends outs to several days.
Many were grateful that the destructive force of nature did not lead to significant injuries or fatalities, including Governor Nixon, “The bottom line is the 34-minute warning and the heeding of that warning by the citizens has saved countless lives.”