Another local weather emergency makes national headlines.
The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado struck the airport, and it was conducting a survey of other possible tornadoes, forecaster Scott Truett told CNN. The region was receiving more rainfall Saturday.
A tornado warning for the airport was issued at 7:36 p.m. Friday, about 35 minutes before the twister struck.
Truett said “one parent thunderstorm” formed near Jefferson City, Missouri, on Friday and moved east toward St. Louis. The tornado that struck the airport may first have touched down in New Melle, about 30 miles to the west.
About 30,000 homes in the county remained without power, and five shelters had been established. Major highways were open, but officials advised people to stay home.
Searchers were going door to door in several communities.
“We’re looking for the family that may be missing,” Earls told CNN.
Inspections of buildings will take several days and hauling off debris will take longer.
“We are doing a second door-to-door search right now,” said Bridgeton Police Chief Don Hood. So far, everyone has been accounted for and there were no reported injuries, he said.
Many homes in the town were heavily damaged. Most of the city was without power and some roads were not passable, Hood told CNN.
Airport officials were relieved that the severe storm Friday evening injured only a relative few passengers.
Five people were taken to hospitals for minor injuries and about a dozen others were treated at the airport for cuts and scrapes after the storm struck around 8:15 p.m. Friday, said airport spokesman Jeff Lea.
“It’s amazing given the number of people and the amount of damage,” he said.
Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said one terminal was in good shape and the other also will be able to provide service Sunday. A few hundred passengers were stranded, but most stayed at hotels, she said.
Concourse C in the main terminal, however, will take a while to repair and carriers will have to use other locations in the airport, she said.
Concourse C is used by American Airlines, Frontier, AirTran and Cape Air.
A van was left hanging precariously off the edge of a terminal parking garage. A video posted on YouTube showed strong winds pushing a Southwest Airlines plane away from a walkway and passengers moving quickly away from tall windows, dark clouds moving in.
Passengers were hit with flying glass and debris as winds ripped off part of the roof in the airport’s C concourse, CNN affiliate KSDK said.
“All the windows were busted. … The airport looks like a war zone,” Elizabeth Rastberger, 32, told CNN’s iReport.
All this stuff can’t be coincidental, man.
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