7/19/06 DISC: IL/MO

**Major Damage in St.Louis Metro**
Widespread wind damage has been reported from the derecho now passing through SC/SE Missouri. Pretty wide damage swath from the Springfield IL area through the St.Louis Metro...and raging on to the south. Lots of power outages, downed trees and powerlines in the St.Louis Metro. Just spoke with Rich Thies who was out chasing in the south St.Louis area, and the area from about the AB brewery S.St.Louis City into the Jefferson Barracks area of S. St. Louis County was very heavily damaged by winds he said got over 80 mph at times. My parents in Kirkwood did not lose any trees fortunately but have been without power since the nasty winds hit.
There was a measured gust of 84 mph downtown, and 92 mph north of the metro area in IL. Quite a number of semis overturned, and windows blown out in at least one downtown hi-rise. Also, since the initial gust front was ahead of the rain, it apparently created something of a haboob right in downtown St. Louis. As I was returning from my chase in the Springfield area, I was listening to live reports on KMOX and a reporter near Busch Stadium said he saw what he thought was an approaching wall of rain, but it turned out to be dust! Ameren reports more than 300,000 without power. Fortunately, ours stayed on this time.

EDIT: More than 500,000 without power, as of 10:30 p.m.
Well I live in the St. Louis area and was out in Columbia, MO today when I noticed the convection going up. Didn't think much of it until I hit I-70 and ran smack into the storm around O'Fallon or so. Very gusty winds and terrential rains. In St. Louis county there was crap all over the place. Limbs, full trees, power lines. Just alot of damage. The real killer that pisses me off is a friggin light pole fell over on my Lincoln I just bought. Nothing like gettin off work and finding your baby has a half ton pole laying on it. It even made it through a tornado I was chasing in New Florence in June when I first bought it. Arrg! Guess I have to wait for the insurance company to come out to Page tomorrow.
ESPN reports 30 injuries (5 requiring hospitalization) due to wind at Busch Stadium. Winds blew out press box windows and overturned concession stands.
I went out this afternoon and had a look at the damage in Wood River and Bethalto, IL and between Edwardsville and Wood River. The tree damage is as extensive as I have ever seen. There are trees or large branches down - often several - in virtually every yard in the residential areas, and it goes on like that for miles. In the area of the Bethalto airport, there are at least 5 buildings with the roof partially or completely blown off. Lots of fences and signs blown over, too. It looked to me like it was, for the most part, very intense downburst damage - quite consistently, most of the trees and debris were blown to the south or southwest. Although likely caused by straght-line winds, the damage around the airport certainly appears comparable to the extent of damage you would find in an F1 tornado. NWS has had damage survey crews out today on both sides of the river, so we will see what they conclude, but I did not see any damage that looked like other than straight-lne wind - but extremely strong ones for sure.

The power outages in the overall STL area are the most extensive ever, and overall the damage in the STL area is the worst since the 1959 tornado. News reports are saying for those without power to expect to wait up to 3-5 days.
I was at Busch Stadium when the storm came through.They just got done singing the national anthem when you could see the storm approaching from the northeast.The ground crew came out and started covering the field right when the gust front hit.This was kinda comical watching them try to cover the field in that wind with all the dust and debrie from the construction site just north of the ballpark.Me and my girlfriend headed for the concourse area to get out of the wind and dust and the rain that was sure to follow.My girlfriends son who also was at the game with some of his friends was injured bye a flying budwieser sign that hit him in the neck area.He was taken to first aid and recieved care there which turned out to be a small cut on his neck.He said there was alot of people in first aid with cuts.The television moniters in the concourse area did have the local radar on shortly after the storm hit.The big screen out in the outfield also had one of the local news stations(ksdk)on for awhile after the storm had mostly passed.After we left the game which they did play after a 2 hour 15 minute delay,we seen alot of tree damage and most of the traffic signals around the stadium was out.It was really odd driving home with all the power out in most of the areas.We live about 40 miles south of downtown and we didnt start seeing the power on till after we got to near the Arnold area and then it was still hit and miss for awhile.Luckly the storm had weakened enough bye the time it got to my area all we had was mostly leave and small branches damage.We have power just no cable.My girlfriends mom lives in Wood River and as John said early they recieved alot of damage up there.Overall was a very interesting evening to say the least.And the cardinals won 8 to 3.
Yes, this was clearly a derecho event. Look back at radar and you can clearly see it started in eastern Iowa and took on a unusual right turn then headed straight southeast then straight south into the St. Louis metro area and continued on from there just before dying.
I spent some time looking at archived radar today. The MCS actually started even earlier, in northwest Iowa between Spencer and Fort Dodge, early in the morning around 12Z. It followed a semicircular path, hitting Waterloo, IA, the Quad Cities, Peoria, Springfield, IL, the St. Louis area, and eventually even Springfield, MO, finally dissipating just east of Springdale, AR around 7Z on July 20. A very long-lived storm that followed a most unusual route, managing to do damage in quite a number of metropolitan areas in the process. It moved to the east, then to the southeast, then to the south, then to the southwest, and finally to the west-southwest, turning right through much of its life course.