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5 tornadoes damage neighborhoods in St. Louis and Franklin counties Thursday

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in St. Louis explained what survey teams look for when confirming tornadoes.

WELDON SPRING, Mo. — It's been a long 24-hours for the National Weather Service. Two survey teams conducted damage reports throughout Illinois and Missouri. 

As of Friday evening, the teams confirmed five tornado touchdowns across St. Louis and Franklin counties.

Kirkwood, Creve Coeur, Frontenac, St. Clair and Leslie all saw EF0 to EF1 strength tornadoes on Thursday.

Melissa Mainhart, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in St. Louis, explained what survey teams look for when confirming tornadoes.

"We look at tree damage, at home damage, building damage and we have what are called damage indicators," said Mainhart.

Storm damage in one Kirkwood neighborhood checked all the boxes. Alexander Clark pointed out tree limbs that were torn off, roof shingles damaged, windows broken and gutters ripped from their posts.

Clark helped pick up smaller debris Thursday, but the heavy lifting was left to tree crews. Hansen's Tree Service Assistant Manager Dan Liberson told 5 On Your Side his office received numerous calls Thursday morning. His crew in Kirkwood spent hours working in Clark's neighborhood.

Thursday's storms were a success for broadcast and government meteorologists. Even though warnings can be bothersome for people not in the threat area, Mainhart explained why taking every warning seriously can be life-saving.

"It can be frustrating that you're not getting to watch your favorite show, I understand that. But it is somebody else's life and we want everyone to be safe. Understand that if your show gets interrupted maybe it's somebody else's worst day and that is more important," said Mainhart.

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