UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KSDK) - A tornado touched down in University City and a wave of severe thunderstorms in the pre-dawn hours knocked out power for thousands of customers in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
Jim Sieveking, of the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said the tornado touched down at 5:23 a.m. The tornado was later confirmed to be between an EF0 and an EF1.
Emergency manager for University City estimated that 1,000 homes have been damaged from the storm.
University City resident Edna Roach describes what happened to Dana Dean. KSDK
Ameren Missouri reported more than 4,300 customers lost power in the Olivette, Ladue, and University City areas as of 7:30 a.m.
Residents in one University City neighborhood had to be evacuated due to a gas leak. Police and firefighters have asked residents to stay away from the area.
Laclede Gas said a tree was knocked over and damaged a 2" natural gas line. The gas leak was stopped by 7:05 a.m. and a utility crew is working to restore service to the neighborhood.
No injuries have been reported.
Meanwhile, Ameren Illinois reported approximately 4,400 customers in the Metro East area are without power as of 7:35 a.m. The most affected areas are O'Fallon, Riverview, Belleville, and Granite City.
Scott Air Force Base lost power and told non-essential personnel not to report to base until 12 p.m. Power is expected to be restored at that time. Scott Elementary will be closed for the entire day.
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NewsChannel 5 will have more information on this story as it becomes available.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
University City was hit by what is being estimated as a EF0 or EF1 tornado early Thursday morning.