Tornado Hits Missouri, Shuts Down Airport
Tornadoes, thunderstorms and high winds swept through Missouri Friday night, causing damage to hundreds of homes and forcing the closure of St. Louis’ airport.
A tornado warning for the Lambert-St. Louis international airport was issued at 7:36 p.m., approximately 35 minutes prior to the tornado strike. When the twister hit, windows and doors at the airport were blown out, shattering glass, blowing debris and overturning cars according to an airport spokesman who spoke with AFP.
"All operations are closed here today and there are no flight activities until assessments can be made of the damage and what it will take to make the facility safe enough to resume flights," airport spokesman Jeff Lea said.
Five people were hospitalized and an additional ten were treated on site for minor scratches.
"It just looks like someone blew out all the windows and let the rains come in,” Lea said. “It was amazing we didn't have more injuries, considering the damage."
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado had an EF3 rating when it hit Bridgeton, which indicates severe winds of 136 to 165 miles per hour. Federal weather officials referred to the storm as a "tornadic supercell."