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Severe Weather Sweeps Through Missouri, Illinois

Tim Eby
St. Louis Public Radio

Will be updated

A fast moving storm system damaged buildings, uprooted trees and downed power lines across the St. Louis region on Sunday and left tens of thousands of Missourians without power.

Ameren Missouri was reporting more than 37,000 outages Sunday afternoon, mostly in the St. Louis area.

The National Weather Service was reporting roof and shingle damage across parts of St. Louis City and County, as well as damaged and uprooted trees. In St. Charles County, roof damage was reported at a Wentzville school. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries in Missouri.

St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said crews went on around 200 runs during a three hour period, mostly responding to down power lines.  He urged residents to use caution when clearing storm debris.

“There could be wires under the leaves, under the debris,"Jenkerson said.  "Be very mindful of that.   Be very careful of the wires, if you see one down, call 911 and we’ll get somebody out right away.”

St. Louis City Chief of Police Sam Dotson said there were no serious injuries or fatalities as a result of the storm. 

Scott Truett, senior forecaster for the National Weather Service said the warm front that brought a record high temperature of 79 degrees in St. Louis met cool fall air to produce violent storms.

“When you have that kind of warm and unstable air mass combined with really strong dynamics that happen in the cool season," Truett said.  "That kind clash of elements helped produce severe weather.”

A county coroner said two people were killed when a tornado hit their home in rural southern Illinois.

Washington County coroner, Mark Styninger, said an elderly man and his sister died Sunday afternoon in their farmhouse in the town of New Minden, about 50 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Emergency officials say there are reports of extensive damage in and around the central Illinois community of Washington.  As of Sunday afternoon, more than 44,000 Ameren Illinois customers in the East Peoria and Washington area were without power.   

The Illinois National Guard is dispatching 10 firefighters to Washington to search for survivors.  

A news release by the National Guard follows reports that people were trapped in buildings after Sunday's severe weather.

Area hospitals were also trying to set up a temporary emergency medical care facility in Washington. One official in a nearby hospital said it remains unclear how many people were injured or the severity of those injuries. Steve Brewer of the Methodist Medical Center of Illinois in Peoria said a few people have come to the hospital and about 15 more had gone to another area hospital.

Both Ameren Illinois and Missouri have activated Emergency Operations Centers.   As of Sunday afternoon, more than 144,000 Ameren Illinois customers were without power across the state.  

Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.