So the last day of 2010 was…eventful. The weather was weirdly warm (60-ish degrees), and the forecast called for rain showers—no big deal, we live in the midwest where weather changes so rapidly. Then the storms came. For the first time in almost 40 years, there were tornadoes in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Yes, tornadoes. Like, more than one.
I had been watching TV Friday morning when I heard the sirens go off, and at first I thought it was the test that they run on the first Monday of every month or that it was the fire station across the street sounding the alarm to warn traffic about stopping for the trucks. But then I realized that A) it wasn’t a new month and B) it wasn’t Monday and C) the siren was too long for the normal fire station warning. Automatic flipping of the TV station to the news and weather. Sure enough, there was a huge storm coming directly this way and there had already been three spottings of tornadoes just south-west of us. It would be hitting our neighborhood in 10 minutes. Tim moved my car from the driveway, where it sits below a tree, to a clear spot in the street. Sirens started going off again and the weather people warned it was serious and to take shelter. So Tim and I (actually just me) grabbed the animals and we headed downstairs. We lost power. The storm came fast, and it was loud. It also left as quickly as it came, and an odd, eerie quietness set it.
We came upstairs to see shingles, siding, and huge tree branches down in our yard—one was even caught in our power and cable lines. The siding and shingles weren’t ours, thank goodness. And sure enough, there were tree branches down where I normally park my car. That’s when we heard about power lines snapped in half just a couple blocks from our neighborhood, and about houses being flattened from a tornado about 5 minutes down the road. So, naturally, we got in the car and started driving around to see the damage. I felt like a tourist in a foreign country gawking at all the sights. I will let the photos tell you what we saw and how bad some of the damage was. You can click on the photos to make them a little bigger.
A few of the towers that were snapped in half and leaning on other wires.
A close up of one of the towers—Sorry the picture is small.
This car has wood debris stuck in its windshield.
Standing in a strip mall’s parking lot looking at flattened houses and over turned cars.
The remains of a house, and another house behind it.
Looking across Lindbergh Road, next to Growlers Pub
Thankfully, no one in the metro area was killed or seriously hurt. Sadly, there has been seven fatalities in the state because of this storm. Tim and I (and the neighborhood we live in) are very lucky the tornado stopped where it did just a few blocks down the road and more damage wasn’t done in our neighborhood. I have always hated storms, and this was certainly not an exception. Our power was restored around 6:30 PM, just in time to get ready for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Hopefully 2011 isn’t as crazy as that storm!