NWS confirms 12 tornados after severe weather downs trees, powerlines

Severe weather downs trees, powerlines
Severe weather downs trees, powerlines
Published: Apr. 15, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2023 at 9:29 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis and the surrounding counties are left with structural damage and blocked roads following severe weather Saturday.

The National Weather Service St. Louis sent out two teams to survey damages in surrounding areas that were in the path of these storms.

On Tuesday afternoon the NWS said they have found 12 tornados through their surveys of the St. Louis area. They said that additional surveys are not planned, but they will continue to review footage and aerial imagery to find any more tornadoes.

On Sunday night the NWS confirmed three more tornados. There was an EF-0 in Hillsboro, an EF-0 in Swansea and an EF-1 in Belleville.

On Monday afternoon the NWS confirmed an eighth tornado, listed as an EF-1, that traveled from Festus to Herculaneum.

Two teams are surveying damages caused by storms in Illinois and Missouri.
Two teams are surveying damages caused by storms in Illinois and Missouri.(NWS)

The first confirmed tornado was an EF1 and touched down in Fenton, Mo.

The second confirmed tornado was an EF1 and touched down in Maeystown, Ill. and proceeded to Hecker, Ill.

The NWS confirmed two more tornados Sunday afternoon. An EF1 in Pevely, Mo and an EF0 south of Valmeyer, Ill.

St. Louis City, County and many surrounding areas were placed under tornado warnings as the weather moved through. Strong winds and large hail produced damage to buildings, trees and powerlines.

The city of Ballwin reported that the windows surrounding the city pool had been broken in the storms, causing the pool to be closed till further notice.

Thousands in Missouri and Illinois are currently without service from the weather as well.

Download the KMOV Weather app to keep up to date on all weather events in the St. Louis area.

In the aftermath of the tornados, residents in St. Louis City and County reported that they couldn’t hear the sirens. Both city and county officials reiterated that the outdoor weather sirens are meant to be heard outside, and recommend signing up for alerts on your phone.

The CEMA Commissioner with the City of St. Louis sent News 4 a statement that read:

“The siren is just one tool. It is a 22-year-old system, but the siren is just one option for notifying those in the area of the City of St. Louis of a weather event. We had two tornado warnings for the City of St. Louis issued at 6:19pm and at 6:39pm on Saturday. The outdoor warning system was activated for both.

“The outdoor warning system is used for two reasons: Tornadoes and Destructive Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, which include systems with 80 mph winds or greater. We would like to stress that this is an outdoor warning system only. We cannot guarantee that the siren–which we test monthly–is heard indoors. We urge residents to opt-in to Notify STL for warnings to come to their mobile devices, landlines and email addresses. The City also joins our federal partners in encouraging residents to be prepared with a weather radio as well.

“As we research upgrades, we are looking to add system resiliency and to enhance testing capabilities and maintenance planning. We also plan to conduct an analysis of the city to ensure siren placement is adequate in providing coverage to areas where development has occurred since the current system was installed. The goal is to make sure sirens cover everyone in our area, but it is important to remember the limitations of a system like this and the need to have multiple ways of receiving emergency alerts.”

The Director of the Emergency Communications Commission with St. Louis County sent a statement to News 4 that read:

“During the most recent storm (Saturday April 15th, 2023), St Louis County received two National Weather Service (NWS) Tornado Warnings and the OWS was activated both times. Activations are based on notifications received from the NWS and/or field reports received from various sources including trained weather spotters, police, etc.

“While both activations were successful, we have been made aware of public reports stating some sirens could not be heard. We take these reports seriously to ensure the system is functioning as the safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us. It is not uncommon during a storm of this strength to produce heavy wind, rain, hail, all of which can affect the distribution of sound from individual sirens.

“As a reminder, the outdoor warning sirens are designed to be heard outside. Best practice recommends having multiple ways to receive alerts such as through weather alert radios which takes their cues directly from the NWS. As well as making sure phone alert notifications are turned on and tuning in to social media and local news media outlets.

“The Emergency Communications Commission is tasked with the operational care, maintenance, and functionality of a system of 204 Outdoor Warning Sirens (OWS) throughout St. Louis County.”