Surprise April snow hits St. Louis and the Midwest

April 25, 2013 by  

April is supposed to usher in warmer weather, but some of the most extreme winter storms take place after the official beginning of spring. Such storms blasted through the Midwest on Thursday, April 11, hitting Missouri and the St. Louis area particularly hard.

The storms brought ice, snow, and, in some cases, winds that topped 100 mph, leading experts to believe there may have been tornadoes involved. First reports were confused, but the situation led Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to declare a state of emergency.

In Sullivan, Missouri, a small town approximately 65 miles from St. Louis, municipal airport board members were meeting at the airfield when they spotted what they believe to be funnel clouds. They watched in astonishment as a pickup truck, driverless, was blown past the window.

The city administrator complained that his ears popped, and then the windows and building started shaking, according to Larry Cuneio, one of the board members. The gust blew at 101 mph and caused some damage, but no one was injured.

The reaction across the area seems to be mostly one of surprise rather than panic. Early spring storms are not unknown, but they are unusual enough to cause comment. St. Louis and environs met the emergency efficiently, sending out repair crews and road crews as quickly as possible. Like all Midwestern cities, St. Louis is adept at handling heavy snows.

St. Louis officials could work with poster printing shops to get posters ready to place around the affected areas, giving tips to stay safe in severe weather.