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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tasked with urgently warning their region when violent weather is imminent, the National Weather Service crew in suburban St. Louis isn't immune from having to scramble for its own safety.

During severe storms that thundered into the area on Friday night, meteorologists noticed a storm system's tight rotation perilously close to their office in Weldon Spring, west of St. Louis.

Forty-six-year-old meteorologist Mark Britt says he and about 10 others bolted for a copy room with reinforced walls and hunkered down. That was only after they called upon their Kansas City colleagues to monitor the storm and issue any public warnings for eastern Missouri.

Britt says it's the first time during his office's nearly quarter century in Weldon Spring that they've had to scurry for cover.

National Weather Service confirms EF-3 tornado

Sunday, 02 June 2013 07:59 Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The National Weather Service confirms that at least one tornado barreled Friday night through portions of the St. Louis area as part of a storm that damaged dozens of homes but caused no serious injuries.

The weather service's Jayson Gosselin says the twister that hit portions of St. Charles County was an EF-3, which packed winds up to 165 miles per hour. A tornado of that magnitude also has been confirmed to have affected the Roxana area in Illinois' Madison County, northeast of St. Louis.

Gosselin says crews are trying to determine if damage in St. Louis County was also from a tornado.

Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency.

Ameren says over 50,000 homes are without power as of Sunday morning.

Former presidential yacht to dock on NC coast

Saturday, 01 June 2013 09:13 Published in National News

BEAUFORT, N.C. (AP) - A former presidential yacht dating to the 1930s is stopping in North Carolina to go on display.

The Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort is scheduled to host dockside tours of the Honey Fitz on Saturday. Proceeds from the tours benefit the Friends of the Museum.

The 92-foot Honey Fitz was christened in 1931, passed from private hands to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1942. It saw service during World War II. President Dwight Eisenhower renamed it the Barbara Anne.

When John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, he renamed the presidential yacht Honey Fitz. It was the nickname of his maternal grandfather. It was sold during the Nixon administration and has been in private hands ever since.

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