Hey everyone do OK with tornado at the St. Louis airport? I would imagine some people are not getting out for a few days. But most important, everyone OK?
The storm shook the windows in the ballroom during the auction and they briefly had us take shelter in the hallway (after it had passed!), but nobody was hurt and the auction resumed after about 10 minutes.
Getting home is going to be another story!
To give a sense of how small a group cartridge collectors make up. To my knowledge there has never been a report of a cartridge collection damaged or dispersed by a tornado or hurricane. Flood, yes. Mellichamp lost quite a bit in water damage from Katrina but lucky his collection was not spread all over the town by the winds.
Some who were flying are traveling instead to Chicago and flying from there. Others who planned on flying are now driving and a few are waiting to see if airport opens back up tomorow.
Looks like you folks ducked a bullet. Intentional pun.
I’m convinced that thing passed far to close to us in that ballroom than many understood. I felt the building sway slightly and the sound, though brief, was classic tornado.
If the staff had not interveined, I doubt the auctionier would have missed a beat!
I’m sure glad to be back home… post a 14.5 hr drive!
News put the tornado path about 3/4 mile from us.
This is the only damage I saw at the hotel, just a single lamp post down in the back parking lot:
I have a couple of poor-quality video clips of the storm taken during the auction Friday night. You can’t see the tornado and I cut it short when the wind hit and the windows started shaking. If anyone is interested I can try to edit and post them.
What I saw from within sight of our hotel (blown out windows at the airport) to total destruction on the west end of the airport and ajoining neighborhood was humbling and put the fact were were spending dollars on a cartridge auction into a perverse perspective (after seeing houses and business leveled less than a mile from our hotel). Surely all would have been clearly in view if not after dark when the reported EF4 touched down. We ducked more than some will know. Floor to ceiling glass panels the full length of the Penthouse ballroom would have changed our evening…if not for the Grace of God on Good Friday night.
The indescriminate damage and then unscathed neighboring structures are mysterious at best.
Had I not detoured westerly (to venture to see family) it will would have been second hand…maybe my camera caught a postable photo or two…I will check them
I was in Lew Curtis’room at the time the tornado struck, up on the eigth floor, before the hotel warnings came on. It must have hit the airport first as the first thing Lew saw was that the airport lights all went out. I could not see that from where I was sitting. Then wen got a huge roaring sound, total darkness outside and the windows started flexing an alarming degree in and out. I told Lew I thought it was a tornado, and I was going out in the hall. We bot wet out, and sta down otuside his closed door. A few minutes passed and all the fire alarms in the hotel went off and the first hotel message came on load speakers. There were two more - one advising everyone to stay put, etc., and one cleaing us to go back into our rooms and resume normal activities.
I had never seen a tonrado in my life, and it scared the bejeesus out of me, I am not ashamed to admit. I agree with Pepper’s comments. I think we were either on the edge of the tornado itself, or so close to it that we might as well have been n the edge of it. To me, it is a miracle that no serious damage was done to the Hotel, the way the windos were flexing! It is definitely a miracle, that with the devestation at the airport, and in various neighborhoods of St. Louis, that there was not one single reported death, even in areas were peoples homes were reduced to a mound of useless kindling wood! Only five minor injuries at an airport concourse full of people, even with a shuttle bus lifted up off the group and depositied on the top of a one-story building.
I have to commend the people of the heartground of America, the midwest. If that had happened where I live, it would have taken two weeks to get the first plaine out of the airport. The folks at Lambert had it up and running for a couple of flights Saturday night (I saw them take off from my room) and United Airlines, at least, an airline I have not been fond of but had to take theis year, was running almost a full schedule by Sunday mid-morning, it seem. I was at the airport for three and a half hours (went early just in case) and from the gates where I was, the were unloading incoming flights and getting them out full again in an amazing time. My flight left exactly on time, and arrived in San Francisco a few minutes early. I had expected to be at least several days, and maybe as much as a week late getting home.
Bless the wonderful folks of St. Louis. They know how to get things done! It was a very sobering experience, and I have to second Pepper once again, I had a few guilt pangs about the money I spent on cartridges when I saw on TV hos many people lost everything in this disaster, and then saw first hand the destruction at the airport.
Sorry to be so wordy, but too much probably can’t be said about this experience from someone who has experienced a couple of pretty bad earthquakes, but has never been through, or even seen, a real tornado.
I think the hotel manager won us all over when, at the end of his second warning, he closed with…“Welcome to St. Louis”.
There is nothing special about these photos…snapped while in traffic…simply pointing and clicking, but the take home message is for those who know the distance from the main terminal building to our hotel’s front door (> ½ mile easterly)…this is an equal distance to the west (on I-70)
I can see why I-70 was closed. I can only imagine the debris on the road which bisected this distruction.
NOAA has a map of the tornado’s path here:
Had it not been for the darkness and the rain it would have been clearly visible from the ballroom.
A more detailed analysis is here:
After seeing video from the airport plus Pepper’s photos of the damage, I’m amazed that there weren’t more serious injuries that night.