2011 St. Louis tornado

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2011 St. Louis tornado
EF4 tornado
Radar image of the 2011 St. Louis tornado.png
Radar imagery of the supercell that produced the St. Louis tornado.
FormedApril 22, 2011 7:55 pm CDT(start of tornado)
Max rating1EF4 tornado
Highest winds
  • 165 mph (266 km/h)
Damage$30 million (2011 USD)
Fatalities0 fatalities; Few injuries
Areas affectedSt. Louis, Missouri area (part of a larger outbreak)
1Most severe tornado damage; see Enhanced Fujita scale Part of the tornado outbreak sequence of April 19–24, 2011
NEXRAD radar mosaic at 8:08 PM, CDT, April 22 (1:08 UTC April 23)

The 2011 St. Louis tornado was a storm that struck the St. Louis metropolitan area on April 22, 2011. It was part of the tornado outbreak sequence of April 19–24, 2011.

The tornado, rated EF4 at its strongest point with winds exceeding 165 mph,[1] was the strongest to hit St. Louis County or City since January 1967. The tornado moved through many suburbs and neighborhoods, damaging and destroying many homes and businesses. The worst damage was in the Bridgeton area, where a few homes were completely leveled.[2] In its 22-mile[3] track across the St. Louis metropolitan area, the tornado damaged thousands of homes, left thousands without power, and caused heavy damage to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, closing it for nearly 24 hours.[4] The tornado crossed into Illinois and tore the roofs off of homes in Granite City before dissipating.

Tornado summary[edit]

The tornado initially touched down near Creve Coeur Lake around 7:55 p.m.[5] and moved into Maryland Heights where it produced EF3 damage. The tornado continued eastward and reached EF4 intensity in Bridgeton where a number of houses were completely destroyed. Afterwards the tornado traveled parallel to I-70 and struck Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, blowing out numerous windows and peeling away a large section of roof. The tornado then moved into the Berkeley neighborhood where it continued to produce EF2 damage, tearing the roofs from several homes. The tornado continued on through several more neighborhoods, causing roof damage to a church and two businesses, one of which completely experienced total roof loss. The storm also produced extensive tree damage and some roof damage to homes as well as partially removing the roof of an elementary school. Damage along this entire section of the storm's path was rated EF1 to low-end EF2. The tornado continued toward the Mississippi River resulting in mostly EF1 damage to trees, however EF2 damage occurred in Dellwood where extensive tree and utility pole damage occurred and three homes lost their roofs. EF2 damage continued as the tornado crossed into Illinois where about a hundred homes were damaged, three of which lost their roofs, and numerous trees were uprooted and snapped.[3]

Windows boarded up at STL after the tornado

The tornado hit Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Missouri's largest, about 8:10 p.m. Three aircraft were on the tarmac with passengers aboard. Numerous passengers and other people were in the airport's terminals.[4]

Concourse C had a large section of its roof torn off when the tornado struck. Many windows at the airport were blown out, and signs were damaged as well. Vehicles outside were tossed by the tornado, including a van which was partially pushed over the edge of a parking garage. Lambert Airport released surveillance video showing debris swirling inside the airport as people ran for cover.[6] It was reported that an aircraft was moved away from its jetway by the storm, with passengers still on board.[7] One plane from Southwest Airlines was damaged when the wind pushed a conveyor belt used for loading baggage into it. American Airlines said that four of its planes were damaged, two of them significantly. One was buffeted by 80 MPH crosswinds while taxiing in from a landing when the tornado hit and the other has possible damage to its landing gear.[8] The tornado was rated an EF2 storm when it struck the airport.[1][6]

The airport was closed by the FAA at 8:54 p.m., and reopened at temporarily reduced capacity on April 23. It was expected to be at 70% capacity on April 24.[1][9]

Other effects[edit]

More than 54,000 Ameren customers were left without power after the storm; more than 47,000 in Missouri and about 7,000 in Illinois.[10]

By 5:40am on April 24, 21,667 customers were still without power in Missouri and 131 in Illinois.[11]

On April 24, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported more than 2,700 buildings were severely damaged in St. Louis County, including 900 in Bridgeton, 450 in Berkeley and 1,170 in Maryland Heights.[12]

Another tornado also hit New Melle in St. Charles County, about 30 miles west of the airport.[13][14]

No deaths resulted from the tornado, and injuries were relatively few.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "UPDATE: Lambert reopening today, expects to be at 70 percent capacity Sunday". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 23, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Moody, Cassidy (April 23, 2011). "Up to 200 homes damaged in Maryland Heights, Bridgeton". KSDK-tv5. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Good Friday Tornadoes April 22, 2011". NWS St. Louis. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b Bowers, Cynthia (April 23, 2011). "Residents: St. Louis was "bedlam" during tornado". CBS News. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  5. ^ "Despite warning, St. Louis tornado caught airport, passengers off guard". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b Held, Kevin (April 23, 2011). "St. Louis Airport storm caught on camera". KSDK. Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ Moore, Bryce. "Lambert passengers watch plane move, then evacuate terminal". Archived from the original on April 25, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ CBS News (April 23, 2011). "Airlines cancel St. Louis flights after tornado". Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  9. ^ Salter, Jim; Suhr, Jim (April 23, 2011). "Mo. governor surveys tornado-ravaged St. Louis, calls lack of deaths 'divine intervention'". Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Salter, Jim; Suhr, Jim (April 22, 2011). "Tornado spawned by strong storms causes damage, injuries at Lambert Airport in St. Louis". Retrieved April 24, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Ameren Outage Map (April 24, 2011)
  12. ^ Staff reports. "Tornado confirmed; 2,700 buildings in St. Louis County with serious damage".
  13. ^ CBS News (April 23, 2011). "Mo. tornadoes destroy homes, damage airport". Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  14. ^ April 22nd Tornadic Supercell Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area, National Weather Service, St. Louis, Missouri. (April 23, 2011).
  15. ^ Staff reports. "Disaster, miracle seen in swath of destruction".

External links[edit]