We were extremely lucky to have no damage from the Good Friday tornado that hit Maryland Heights. We didn’t realize how close we were until Scott went out and talked to the neighbors once the storm had passed.
Our night was pretty boring. We decided that we were just going to have a movie night at home since Zipf had a friend coming in and we cancelled on the Fish Fry and then the movie we wanted to see wasn’t showing at the Chase. So a relaxing night at home was planned and then the storms started around 6:30.
We were just hanging out in the basement and so we really couldn’t tell how bad the rain was coming down or the how frequent the lightning was going. Around 7:45 the power went out for maybe 20 seconds and that’s when we decided to turn off the servers and the computers and Scott ran upstairs to get some candles and turn off the other lights. Once he was upstairs he yelled for me to come take a look at how crazy the trees were blowing. This was probably not the best idea. We couldn’t hear the tornado sirens going off at the time. The trees were just blowing in a weird directions and the lightening was creepy. Reily wouldn’t move from her bed in the basement. Then we could just feel the pressure drop in the house. We immediately opened the windows to relieve the pressure and went back down to the basement.
I tried to turn the TV back on but the TiVo was taking too long to reboot so we, stupidly, went up the bedroom to watch the weather report. Again there was no sirens that we could hear and so the new just talked about possible tornadoes and nothing else. We sat in the bedroom for 5 minutes and then went back downstairs until the storm was over. We did hear some more sirens around 9 but by then the storm was well past.
Around 10, Scott went outside to see if there was any damage in the front of the house and talked to the neighbors. They said that the tornado went down the street right behind our house. We couldn’t believe it. So we put on shoes and started walking up the street. We could smell gas as soon as we got to the top of our block. We saw a down tree about 3 houses down the main street (McKelvey) from our street. We then walked down the first block on our left and just saw down trees and some roofs that were damaged and a tree on a car. We then turned around and went up to the Maryland Heights community center.
By this time everyone who was on I270 North was stuck there. It was a parking lot. There were down power lines and therefore no one was moving. We could hear people yelling from the highway at each other. Once we got to the community center we walked over to the wall that overlooked the highway and 2 guys just ran across the Southbound lanes of 270 and hopped the wall and asked if there was a bar close because they wanted to watch the Cardinals game. They had just left their car on the highway. It was crazy. The community center was were the police started the barricade. No one was getting in to the neighborhood without shopping ID’s because of the gas leaks. People were leaving cars at the community center and walking as far as the could. They were there till mid day Saturday.
We didn’t really take a look at the actual damage until Sunday and we are amazed as to how close it was to our house and how bad it was.
Here is the tornado damage from around our house:
The tornado also hit St. Louis’ s Lambert International Airport. Here is a great You Tube video from Lambert
The National Weather Service has now said that there has been 5 official tornado’s that have touched down on Good Friday. It’s truly amazing that no one was hurt.