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Security Footage Shows Harrowing Airport Tornado

Thanks to early warnings, no one was killed in St. Louis

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2011 6:39 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Miraculously, no one was killed by the Friday night tornado that ripped through the St. Louis airport. But that doesn't make the experience, captured by security cameras and reported by KMOX, any less terrifying. (Hat tip to Gawker for the find.) How is it that—even though 2,700 buildings were damaged and 100 homes destroyed—only minor injuries were reported in the St. Louis area, and only to five people? Locals credit early warnings from the weather service.

The tornado, which packed winds of up to 200mph, was the most powerful in the St. Louis area in 44 years and peaked at the second-highest level on the Enhanced Fujita scale. But thanks to the weather service and local TV stations, residents were made aware of the impending disaster 34 minutes before it hit. Warning sirens at the airport allowed security officers to get people into stairwells and bathrooms for safety. The mayor has another theory. He tells the AP he credits "the grace of God."

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