UPDATE: Weather Service Confirms Tornado Struck Airport
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The National Weather Service confirms that it was a tornado that struck Lambert Airport in St. Louis, causing several injuries and sending people scurrying for shelter as plated glass shattered around them. Meteorologist Scott Truett says crews were out Saturday assessing damage and trying to determine just how strong the tornado was.
Officials are trying to determine if the same tornado that struck the airport Friday night also caused damage in several St. Louis County communities. About 50 homes were damaged in Maryland Heights, and dozens of other homes in north St. Louis County were damaged.
The airport remains closed, and officials aren't sure when it will reopen. The storm also brought heavy rain and huge hail to central and eastern Missouri. Flash flooding closed Highway 67 near Farmington.
The National Weather Service says the tornado was at least an EF3 on the tornado-strength scale and followed an eerily similar path as a devastating 1967 twister than left an estimated $15 million damage. Meteorologist Scott Truett says survey crews with the weather service's office near St. Louis are still assessing the twister that barreled through the area Friday night, closing Lambert Airport and sending five people to the hospital. An EF3 tornado carries wind speeds of 136 to 165 mph. The weather service say the 1967 twister measuring EF4 -- with peak winds up to 200 mph -- ripped a 21-mile-long path of destruction across St. Louis County, killing three people and injuring more than 200 others.