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Severe weather sweeps St. Louis, spawning tornadoes

DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton Image source: Michael Golde

   ST. LOUIS (AP) — Waves of violent weather spawning high winds and tornado have torn through the St. Louis area, downing trees and power lines and sending gamblers rushing from a casino floor. There were no immediate, confirmed reports of injuries.

   The storms that began pounding the region around 6:30 p.m. prompted numerous tornado warnings, with at least a few confirmed sightings from Montgomery County about 70 miles west of St. Louis into St. Louis County itself. Many homes were damaged in St. Charles County, specifically at Whitmoor Country Club and other nearby subdivisions.

   Emergency management officials say the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights lost its roof.  Investigators did find the building structurally safe.  The casino is set to reopen at 8 a.m. Saturday.

   Rich Gordon, of Jefferson City, says he was on the casino floor when he heard a loud "boom" and officials evacuated the floor. Windows were blown out of the casino and metal power poles outside were snapped off at the base.

    Audience members at Friday night's Circus Flora performance were moved from under the big top to the nearby VA shelter during intermission in the city's Grand Center Theater District. 

Last modified on Saturday, 01 June 2013 07:49

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