The strong line of thunderstorms that sped through the St. Louis area Thursday afternoon spawned a tornado in central Illinois, about 50 west of Springfield.
Emergency Services officials in Cass and Morgan Counties had reported the twister just before 3 p.m.
Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack says the storm caused no damage.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Ted Nugent is the latest artist to join the lineup for a benefit concert that will raise money for victims of the Illinois tornadoes.
The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports the 64-year-old Michigan rocker will perform at the "Rock to the Rescue" concert on Dec. 4. The concert will be at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
Other artists already announced include Richard Marx, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Survivor and Larry the Cable Guy.
Styx guitarist James Young and REO Speedwagon guitarist and singer Kevin Cronin are both Illinois natives.
Tickets are on sale and cost between $28 and $58.
The National Weather Service says two dozen tornadoes hit the state on Nov. 17, killing six people. More than 2,400 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Storms that swept across the Midwest left at least six people dead and unleashed powerful winds that flattened neighborhoods, flipped over cars and uprooted trees.
The National Weather Service has confirmed preliminary EF-4 tornado damage about 50 miles east of St. Louis near New Minden, Illinois -- where two people were killed.
Washington, a town of 16,000 about 170 miles north of St. Louis, appeared to have the most severe damage. State Trooper Dustin Pierce says the tornado there cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of town to the other. Entire blocks of Washington were leveled. One person was killed. The National Guard has been called in to police the damaged neighborhoods.
Three others died in Massac County in far southern Illinois.
It wasn't tornadoes, but straight line winds that brought down trees and power lines on the Missouri side of the St. Louis metro area.
Two empty buildings reportedly toppled in the City of St. Louis.
In Wentzville, Heritage Primary Elementary school will open Monday, despite having parts of its roof blown off. The students will reportedly be moved to different classrooms.
The wind is being blamed for several interstate accidents, including one involving an overturned semi that closed the Poplar Street Bridge for several hours and an eight-car pile up along the I-70 depressed section downtown.
Crews are still working to clear downed trees, power lines and other debris from some St. Louis area roads. Drivers are urged to use caution this morning as traffic signals remain out at some intersections and some streets may still be littered with debris.
The power is still out for many in the St. Louis area as well. At the height of the storm, Ameren was reporting more than 50,000 metro-area customers were affected. Ameren opened an emergency operations center Sunday afternoon and crews have been working all day to restore power.
At 3:00 a.m, more than 6,700 Ameren Missouri customers and just over 2,500 metro-east customers were still in the dark.
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - An organization that formed after a May 2011 tornado destroyed parts of Joplin is celebrating the opening of its 100th home in the southwest Missouri city.
Rebuild Joplin held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday at the home of Ron and Margaret Campbell, whose house was damaged during the tornado. The couple had begun repairs but did not have the money to complete them.
The Joplin Globe reports Rebuild Joplin began as a website after the tornado to connect people with resources. It eventually began construction projects using volunteer labor. Since November 2011, the organization has completed 47 new constructions and 53 home repairs.
Chad Carson, executive director of Rebuild Joplin, says the organization is still trying to find people who need help to recover from the tornado.
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Nearly three months after a twister blasted through Moore, Okla., and destroyed two elementary schools, students are going back to class.
And although many families are ready to return to a familiar routine, parents and teachers say many children in the Oklahoma City suburb have fears that are still fresh and a lot more healing to do.
One young girl is so afraid of the wind that she carries headphones to block out the noise. Other kids are traumatized by memories of their narrow escape and friends who died just a few feet away from them.
Classes resume Friday in temporary buildings until Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary are rebuilt. The May 20 tornado killed 24 people and wrecked scores of homes and businesses.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Governor Jay Nixon is requesting a federal major disaster declaration for severe storms that struck Missouri from May 29th to June 10th.
The storms included one that spawned a tornado in the St. Louis area and others that caused widespread flooding.
Nixon's request Wednesday is for public assistance to 30 counties statewide from Barton County on the border with Kansas to St. Louis County. The governor also is requesting individual assistance for Callaway, Lincoln, Montgomery, Osage, Pike, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.
Public assistance allows local officials to seek aid for response and recovery efforts. Individual assistance allows households to seek federal aid for uninsured losses.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The National Weather Service says the deadly tornado that struck near Oklahoma City late last week was another top-of-the-scale EF5 that packed winds reaching 295 mph. The weather service also says the twister's 2.6-mile width is the widest ever recorded.
The weather service initially rated the Friday tornado that hit El Reno as an EF3. But the agency upgraded the ranking Tuesday after surveying damage. Eighteen people were killed in the tornado and subsequent flooding in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
The weather services says the El Reno tornado tops a 2.5-mile wide tornado that hit Hallam, Neb.
The update means the Oklahoma City area has seen two of the extremely rare EF5 tornadoes in less than a month. The other hit Moore on May 20, killing 24 people.
As people continue work to clean up after Friday's storms, Missouri Attorney General is warning homeowners and businesses to be on the lookout for price gouging.
Koster reminds everyone that suddenly and artificially raising prices is illegal. Anyone who feels they have been the victim of price gouging should call the attorney general's office at 800.392.8222.
Anyone found to be in violation of price-gouging laws faces a fine of up to $1,000 per violation.
Clean up continues in tornado-damaged Weldon Spring in St Charles County. Whitmoor Golf Course managers off Wolfrum Road now say they hope to reopen the course this weekend after more than 200 trees were toppled or sliced by an EF3 twister Friday night. Several homes were leveled.
St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann says 350 homes have major damage, with 45-50 homes of those condemned, and 250 with moderate damage.
He says their main concern is safety, along with clean up, helping residents get back into their homes, and making sure that residents are not scammed in the recovery process.
ADVICE FOR ST. CHARLES COUNTY RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY THE MAY 31 STORM
ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO – As of June 3, assessments by St. Charles County indicate that 350 homes sustained major damage, with 45-50 homes of these homes condemned, and 250 with moderate damage, due to the May 31 storm.
St. Charles County’s number one concern is safety for the affected residents, along with cleaning up the storm damage, helping residents get back into their homes, and making sure that residents are not scammed in the recovery process. St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann and County departments and staff would like to provide the following information for County residents affected by the storm.
Debris from Downed Trees:
• St. Charles County Highway Department’s first priority is to pick up trees and limbs in unincorporated impacted areas East of Highway 94, North of Highway 40/61, South of Friedens Rd., and along Arena Pkwy. Otherwise, Highway Department crews will follow County snow routes adjacent to the defined area, but it may take a week or more until they reach those areas. Residents in the impacted areas should bring the tree and limb debris to the curb; also, residents do not need to schedule pickup nor do they need to bag the debris, and there is no set schedule for when crews will reach particular streets, subdivisions, etc. For questions, please call the St. Charles County Highway Department at (636) 949-7305.
• Please do not mix yard waste and tree limbs with household/construction debris such as shingles and siding. Consult with your local trash disposal service for questions about household/construction debris removal. If yard waste and tree debris is mixed with household/construction debris, none of the debris will be picked up.
• For residents in the storm affected area who have been helping out by taking their own tree debris to the Highway Department facilities on 3890 Greens Bottom Rd. - please be aware there is flooding on Greens Bottom 1/2 mile from Pitman Rd., so you must use Jungs Station Rd. to access the area. You may also take your tree debris to the Highway Department’s Weldon Spring site, 7101 Highway 94, south of Hwy 40/61. These facilities cannot accept commercial tree haulers due to space.
Nonelectrical Construction Debris:
• St. Charles County will be placing dumpsters in the hardest hit areas for nonelectrical construction debris.
Free Recycling of Electronics:
• St. Charles County’s Recycle Works Central, located at 60 Triad South Drive, St. Charles, MO 63304, will recycle damaged electronics for free June 5- 15. For more information, call Recycle Works Central at (636) 949-7900, ext. 4271. The City of St. Charles in sponsorship with WITS, Inc. is holding a free electronics recycling event on June 21 at the Family Arena, as well. For more information, call WITS at (314) 558-0090 or visit the organization online at www.witsinc.org.
Hazards from Electrical Lines:
• Ameren Missouri is restoring service to the County neighborhoods affected by Friday night’s storms, but your own electrical lines may still pose safety hazards.
• Loose electrical lines may be dangerous, and any electrical lines that were exposed to water must be replaced.
• In such cases, Ameren Missouri may disconnect meters until a contractor replaces or repairs the electrical lines that are loose or were exposed to water.
• For questions about electrical lines and services, call Ameren Missouri at 1-800-552-7583
• Please contact a licensed contractor for any required work.
Licenses Required for Certain Contractors:
• If you are in the unincorporated part of St. Charles County – not located in municipal limits – please remember that the County’s ordinances require licenses for certain specialized contractors. These include electrical, plumbing, and HVAC contractors.
• Such licenses are issued by the Division of Building Code Enforcement. To confirm that a license is required or that a contractor has one, call the Division at (636) 949-7345. Information is also available at www.sccmo.org under Departments – Community Development – Permits and Applications.
Permits Required for Structural and Electrical Repairs:
• If you are in the unincorporated part of St. Charles, County ordinances will require permits for structural and electrical repairs. These may be required for other repairs as well.
• Such permits are issued by the Division of Building Code Enforcement. Often, contractors will obtain such permits for the owners they work for, but the legal responsibility for getting those permits is the owners’.
• Owners may call the Division of Building Code Enforcement for more information or to confirm that permits have in fact been issued for their repairs. Please note that the contractor is not done with work until the final inspection has been approved. The Division’s number is (636) 949-7345.
Permits Required for Door-to-Door Solicitation by Repair Contractors:
• Solicitors’ Permits: Outside the County’s municipalities, County ordinances require that solicitors have County licenses and show them to the residents they visit (some of the County’s municipalities have similar ordinances). Ask to see that license, or you may call the Office of the County Registrar at (636) 949-7560 to learn whether a solicitor’s license was issued to the person or company seeking your business. Here’s what such a license looks like:
• Merchants’ Licenses: Throughout the County, merchants who sell at retail or wholesale must have merchants’ licenses. Repair contractors who sell materials and collect sales tax on the sale must have such licenses, which are issued by the County’s Department of Finance. Residents may ask to see that license, or contact the County’s Department of Finance to confirm that a merchant has one. The Department’s number is (636) 949-7465.
General Suggestions/Items of Note:
• Please note that St. Charles County building inspectors will have picture I.D.’s. It is advisable for residents to request to see this I.D. before letting an individual inspect their home.
• Though many contractors are reputable some are the “storm-chasers” that Missouri’s Attorney General has warned Missourians against: http://ago.mo.gov/newsreleases/2013/AG_Koster_warns_consumers_scams_tornados_StLouisArea/
• Feel free to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-392-8222 with concerns, or to consult the Better Business Bureau by calling (314) 645-3300.
• St. Charles County is still asking that people stay away from affected areas to allow crews to respond to the damage. If citizens come across any hazards, please call 911.
• The St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department is providing security for the affected areas.
Assistance and Volunteer Opportunities:
• Those who need assistance or wish to volunteer to help with the storm cleanup should call United Way's 211 from a landline phone or call 1-800-427-4626 from a mobile phone.
The call for sandbaggers at Portage Des Sioux had been answered.
St. Charles County officials say no additional volunteers are needed. KTRS's Michael Golde was at the scene earlier today and said that within an hour of the request for help on Monday morning, the number of sandbaggers nearly doubled.
Officials say the situation could change, it is unknown how long work on the sandbagging will continue.