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Thursday, 18 April 2013 04:35

Ameren crews preparing for storms

   With another line of potentially severe weather expected to push through the metro-area Thursday, Ameren has place crews on both sides of the river on stand-by.  Ameren officials say they've mobilized personnel and equipment to facilitate their response to any storm-related power outages.  

   But Ameren officials say there are some things customers who lose power during the storms need to do.  First, officials say, report the outage.  Don't assume the power company knows your lights are out.

   Second, they remind customers to stay away from downed power lines and always assume that any lines that have fallen are still live wires.  Report the downed lines immediately.

   They say to stay out of the way of power company crews who are working to repair lines and restore power.

   And finally, they ask customers to be patient.  Crews will get repairs made as quickly as they can do so safely.

   More tips can be found at Ameren's online Outage Center

Published in Local News

   Just a week after severe storms brought damaging wind and tornadoes to the St. Louis area, the threat of more dangerous weather is in the forecast.  Hazelwood residents continue to clean up after a twister ripped through their community last week. But their mayor is hoping they'll now shift focus from patching roofs to preparing for the next round of storms.  

   Mayor Matthew Robinson says he hopes people heed the warning the next time the tornado sirens sound.  "When they do," he said, "obviously you can see what we went through here in Hazelwood.  People need to take shelter, because you never know.  You never know when that train’s going to be coming.”

  The mayor says if temporary tarps are damaged in this next round of storms, there are materials and supplies and volunteers that’ll come out again and help patch them up again. 

  Meanwhile residents in one storm-battered Hazelwood apartment complex are still trying to recover.  That includes Renee Fletcher, who spent  Tuesday gathering her things from her damaged apartment before they could be ruined by more bad weather.

   Fletcher says some things have already been ruined.  "There is significant molding that’s already taking place in the building," she said.  "So definitely, you want to get your things out, but it’s not safe for you to be in there anyway."

   Fletcher had lived at the Teson Garden Apartments when the tornado struck last week.  All nine buildings in the complex were so badly damaged, they've been condemned. Police say residents have until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday  to collect their belongings.  Then the buildings will be closed up for repairs.  Two of the buildings may need to be torn down. 

 

 
Published in Local News

   Some schools initially closed after Wednesday night's storms will be open today.  

   Shenandoah Elementary School in Chesterfield will hold classes today, despite roof damage.  Parkway District officials say some students will meet in different classrooms until repairs are made.

   Some schools in the Hazelwood district will also be back open today, but several other remain closed. Classes are cancelled at Hazelwood West High School, West Middle School, McNair Elementary, Russell Elementary, Armstrong Elementary, and West Early Childhood Center. After school activities are also cancelled.

 
Published in Local News

Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel will be joining Hazelwood's Mayor Matthew Robinson to assess tornado damage this afternoon. 

The politician grew up in Florissant and graduated from Hazelwood West High School. 

They will be joined by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon who first did an aerial assessment of hard hit Sullivan in Franklin County  this (Thursday) morning 

The Governor declared a state of emergency in Missouri and also activated the State Emergency Operations Plan, which allow state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.

 

Published in Local News

   Franklin County officials reported damage county-wide.  That includes widespread roof and tree damage.  Sullivan was one of the hardest hit areas in the county.   Several mobile homes were damaged at the Jergenson mobile home park.  At least 4 people were injured there, mainly broken bones.  Rescue crews have gone door to door, searching for additional victims.  The storm struck the 1st Baptist Church in Union during a church service.  Worshippers evacuated to a safe area of the church, which lost a large portion of it's roof, but no one was injured.

   The cleanup will be long and arduous in Hazelwood after a tornado reportedly touched down their during last night's storms.  Strike teams from St. Charles County were called in to assist local authorities about 8:30 p.m.  Fire crews from St. Charles and the City of St. Louis were also called in.  Ground zero was near Howdershell and Lynn Haven.  At least one person became trapped after a tornado tossed a large tree onto a home at Howdershell and Octavia.  Several buildings were damaged in that area and police have closed the roads leading into the neighborhood.  The good news:  There have been no reports of serious injuries in Hazelwood.

   Multiple Tornado Warnings were issued for St. Charles County. Projected paths included St. Peters, Cottleville, and St. Charles; 370 Park; and West Alton. Radar also indicated rotation between O’Fallon and Lake St. Louis, as well as in the area near Defiance.  Power outages are minimal in St. Charles County, but there are other problems, including road closures.  Highway 94 is blocked just east of Portage des Sioux because of downed power poles and wires.  A spokesperson for the county says they're not sure when that will be cleared.  Also there's water covering Hwy H at Hwy 94. Multiple utility lines down or arcing in Dardenne Prairie, St. Peters, O’Fallon, and unincorporated county. And lightning strikes were reported in Lake St. Louis, Dardenne Prairie, Cottleville, and unincorporated areas.

   Damage is also being reported in the Hill neighborhood of South St. Louis.  In the 5600 block of Columbia, two homes were heavily damaged.  The roof was ripped off one home and strewn across the block, causing additional damage to cars and other homes.

  

   

 

Published in Around Town

   Violent storms rocked the St. Louis metro area Wednesday evening, spawning tornadoes and strong winds that damaged buildings, toppled trees and downed power lines.  

   Storm damage and power outages have prompted some schools to cancel classes for Thursday.

   Shenandoah Valley Elementary School in Chesterfield has canceled class after the storm tore the roof off the building. 

   All Hazelwood Schools are closed due to power outages. There are also concerns about fallen trees and debris blocking bus routes in the district.

   Vianney High School has canceled classes over power issues as well.

   Additional school closings will be added to this list if warranted.

 
Published in Local News

   Franklin County officials reported damage county-wide.  That includes widespread roof and tree damage.  Sullivan was one of the hardest hit areas in the county.   Several mobile homes were damaged at the Jergenson mobile home park.  At least 4 people were injured there, mainly broken bones.  Rescue crews have gone door to door, searching for additional victims.  The storm struck the 1st Baptist Church in Union during a church service.  Worshippers evacuated to a safe area of the church, which lost a large portion of it's roof, but no one was injured.

   The cleanup will be long and arduous in Hazelwood after a tornado reportedly touched down their during last night's storms.  Strike teams from St. Charles County were called in to assist local authorities about 8:30 p.m.  Fire crews from St. Charles and the City of St. Louis were also called in.  Ground zero was near Howdershell and Lynn Haven.  At least one person became trapped after a tornado tossed a large tree onto a home at Howdershell and Octavia.  Several buildings were damaged in that area and police have closed the roads leading into the neighborhood.  The good news:  There have been no reports of serious injuries in Hazelwood.

   Multiple Tornado Warnings were issued for St. Charles County. Projected paths included St. Peters, Cottleville, and St. Charles; 370 Park; and West Alton. Radar also indicated rotation between O’Fallon and Lake St. Louis, as well as in the area near Defiance.  Power outages are minimal in St. Charles County, but there are other problems, including road closures.  Highway 94 is blocked just east of Portage des Sioux because of downed power poles and wires.  A spokesperson for the county says they're not sure when that will be cleared.  Also there's water covering Hwy H at Hwy 94. Multiple utility lines down or arcing in Dardenne Prairie, St. Peters, O’Fallon, and unincorporated county. And lightning strikes were reported in Lake St. Louis, Dardenne Prairie, Cottleville, and unincorporated areas.

   Damage is also being reported in the Hill neighborhood of South St. Louis.  In the 5600 block of Columbia, two homes were heavily damaged.  The roof was ripped off one home and strewn across the block, causing additional damage to cars and other homes.

  

   

 

Published in Local News
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The people of Hattiesburg, Miss., are trying to assess the damage after a tornado tore through the city on Sunday.

It was part of a wave of severe storms that downed trees, damaged buildings and injured more than a dozen people.

The twister traveled down one of Hattiesburg's main streets and mangled homes, commercial buildings and structures on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. Emergency officials say at least 10 people were injured in surrounding Forrest County and three were hurt to the west in Marion County, but they aren't aware of any deaths.

A Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman says it appears that a single tornado caused the damage in those two counties and Lamar County. Hundreds of homes are damaged in Forrest County, along with a couple dozen in the other two.

On the campus of the university, trees were snapped in half around the heavily damaged Alumni House where part of the roof was ripped away. The university says no one was hurt but that it was under a state of emergency, anyone away from campus should stay away until further notice.
Published in National News
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