Off-Topic News: Tornado Strike in St. Louis?

While in St. Louis today at the Americas Center, there was a deafening roar for about 20 seconds while I was chatting with an engineer during lunch at the PaperCon ’09 conference. I though it was just intense rain or hail pounding the roof, but when I stepped outside moments later to get something from my car in a parking garage, I heard some girls talking about how they could have been killed by falling debris. Then I saw the damage that had been done to the hotel next door, the Renaissance Suites. Heard a hotel manager talking on a cell phone about an unconfirmed report of a small tornado. Might have just been speculation, but other bystanders reported incredibly intense winds for a while with things swirling around.

The winds/tornado stripped off a large section of the painted facade of the hotel, causing a large amount of debris to fall to the street. Looked like a mix of particle board and fiberglass.

Right now the Americas Center lights went off momentarily as the storm continues to rage. Wireless still on.

Several analogies suggest themselves. Building on the rock, reality versus facades, withstanding the winds of adversity, being prepared, and my favorite, avoiding tornadoes.

Well, that’s it for now. Here’s a few photos.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

2 thoughts on “Off-Topic News: Tornado Strike in St. Louis?

  1. Hi Jeff,

    This actually sounds more like a microburst. They can even take on the appearance of a small tornado and have generally the same effects except the winds tend to be more straight-line. Had there been a tornado cell in the area the sirens might have given some warning. Just a guess.

  2. There were no sirens at all today. I don't work in the city, but I'm in the county, which isn't too far. I did hear about the damage to a building, so that's probably what my boss at work was talking about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.