St. Louis, Missouri is a city with a rich and complex history, shaped by a range of natural disasters and severe weather events. Perhaps the most significant and recurring threats to the city and its residents are tornadoes. Located in the heart of the Midwest, St. Louis is no stranger to the destructive force of tornadoes, which can strike with little warning, leaving a path of devastation and destruction in their wake.

Over the years, the St. Louis area has experienced a number of tornadoes, some of which have caused significant damage and loss of life. These tornadoes have varied in intensity, from weak twisters to powerful storms capable of uprooting trees, destroying buildings, and tossing vehicles around like toys. The history of tornadoes in St. Louis is a reminder of the power of nature and the importance of being prepared for these kinds of events.

Continue reading if you’re curious about the history of tornadoes in St. Louis, from some of the most devastating storms of the past to the more recent events that have impacted the city. We will also provide safety tips and recommendations to help you stay safe during a tornado, including what to do before, during, and after a storm. Whether you are a long-time resident of St. Louis or new to the area, it is important to be informed and prepared for the possibility of a tornado.

Here’s What Tornadoes Have Done to STL

Tornadoes have a long and destructive history in the St. Louis area, dating back to at least the mid-19th century. Here are some of the most significant tornadoes that have impacted the St. Louis region over the years:

1896 Damage from F4 Tornado in Saint Louis, MO
1896 Damage from F4 Tornado in Saint Louis, MO
  • On May 27, 1896, a devastating tornado tore through St. Louis, killing 255 people and injuring over a thousand. The twister, which was estimated to be an F4 on the Fujita scale, caused widespread destruction, including the complete destruction of several city blocks. The damage was so severe that it took years for the city to fully recover.
  • On September 29, 1927, another deadly tornado struck the St. Louis area, this time in the neighboring city of Rock Hill. The twister, which was estimated to be an F4, killed 79 people and injured over 500. It also caused extensive damage to homes, businesses, and other structures in the area.
  • On January 24, 1967, an F4 tornado struck the city of St. Louis during rush hour, causing extensive damage and killing 3 people. The twister caused over $15 million in damage and destroyed dozens of homes and businesses.
  • On April 10, 1975, an F4 tornado struck the town of Murphysboro, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The twister caused extensive damage and killed 16 people.
  • On April 22, 2011, a powerful tornado outbreak swept through the St. Louis area, causing significant damage and killing 3 people. The twisters, which were rated as high as EF4, caused damage in several counties across the region.

These are just a few examples of the tornadoes that have impacted the St. Louis area over the years. While tornadoes can be devastating and unpredictable, there are steps that residents can take to prepare for these kinds of events and stay safe during a storm.

How To Stay Safe!

St. Louis residents are no strangers to the destructive force of tornadoes. While tornadoes can be unpredictable and difficult to predict, there are steps that individuals and families can take to stay safe during a storm.

One of the most important things to do is to stay informed about severe weather conditions in your area. This means listening for tornado sirens, watching local news broadcasts, and staying tuned to weather alerts on your phone or other devices. Many cities, including St. Louis, have outdoor warning systems that are activated when severe weather is approaching. If you hear a tornado siren, take it seriously and seek shelter immediately.

It is also important to pay attention to weather conditions when you are outside. Look for signs of severe weather, such as darkening skies, lightning, or high winds, and be prepared to take shelter if necessary.

When a tornado is approaching, the safest place to be is in a basement or storm shelter. If you do not have access to a basement or shelter, seek shelter in a small, interior room on the lowest level of your home, such as a closet or bathroom. Stay away from windows and exterior walls, and cover yourself with blankets or pillows to protect against flying debris.

If you are driving when a tornado is approaching, do not try to outrun the storm. Instead, pull over to a safe place, such as a sturdy building or a ditch, and get out of your car. Lie flat in the lowest area possible, covering your head with your hands, and wait for the storm to pass.

In addition to these specific safety tips, it is important to have an emergency preparedness plan in place before severe weather strikes. This plan should include a designated meeting place for your family, emergency contact information, and a supply kit with basic necessities such as water, non-perishable food, and first aid supplies.

By staying informed, being prepared, and taking appropriate action during a tornado, St. Louis residents can help minimize the risks and stay safe during severe weather events.

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