Looking back at 70 years of St. Louis weather

Scott Connell has a look back at the biggest weather moments we've seen over the past 70 years.

While we haven't had much of a winter this year, we start by looking back at one of the more iconic storms ever in St. Louis.

It's probably the most talked about snow storm in St. Louis is the Blizzard of '82. While technically not a blizzard, parts of the metro area did end up with a foot and a half of snow bringing the city to a standstill for days. Cars were stranded on the roads and Bi State (now Metro) bus service was suspended and so was Amtrak.

Photos: The great blizzard of 1982

In 2006, an ice storm knocked down trees and power lines across much of the St. Louis area producing one of the worst and longest power outages for many people in St. Louis history. Over a half a million customers had no power from the St. Louis area into central Illinois, many in the dark and cold for days!

Just three short years ago, a wind whipped snowstorm moved through the St. Louis area on January 5th dropping a foot or more of snow from the metro area south and east into Illinois. Howling winds created wind chills of thirty to forty degrees below zero amid deep snowdrifts.

TORNADOES

Ironically, some of our worst tornadoes have touched down during the winter months. Remember the February 10, 1959 tornado that tore into the city from southwest St. Louis county. It ripped off part of the roof of the old arena and destroyed 47 homes and buildings. Twenty-one people died in that storm in the middle of the night, and 345 were injured.

Around dinnertime on January 24, 1967, three people lost their life when a large tornado tracked through neighborhoods in northwest St. Louis county destroying 168 homes.

And 2010 ended with a dozen tornadoes across the region. Around lunchtime on New Years Eve, the strongest tornado churned through Sunset Hills with winds estimated at 145 mph.

Springtime storms brought the Good Friday tornado in 2011. The storm was at its worst in Bridgeton in the Harmon Estates subdivision before it weakened a bit as it made a direct hit on Lambert airport. No serious injuries or fatalities, but shut the airport down through the next day.

HAIL

And ten years earlier, the costliest hailstorm in U.S. history rolled across Missouri into St. Louis. The I-70 storm dropped hail larger than baseballs in spots with insured losses of more than two billion dollars! 

FLOODING

St. Louis was settled as a trading post because of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and in 1993, those swollen rivers rose to levels never seen before.

By all standards, the flood of '93 is the most memorable. The images of of this record flood along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers won’t soon be forgotten.  First, the Chesterfield Valley filling with water closing Interstate 64/Highway 40 for weeks, then the next day, the farmstead being washed away as a levee was breached in Monroe County, Illinois.

More recently, we watched as torrential rains over a few days at the end of December 2015 pushed the Meramec River over interstates 44 and 55 and flooded areas that had never been flooded before.

Photos: Flood of December 2015

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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