The video: The strongest tornado to hit St. Louis County in 44 years destroyed more than 100 homes and damaged thousands of buildings on Friday. It also briefly shut down Lambert-St. Louis International Airport — and dramatic security-camera footage shows why. (See the clip below.) In the soundless two-minute video, travelers and workers quickly take refuge as debris begins to fall from the roof. Around the 32-second mark, powerful winds tear through the roof of the terminal, sending debris flying through a long hallway. The tornado — with winds up to 200 miles per hour — was the most powerful recorded in the United States this year. It broke several airport windows. Despite the direct hit, the airport was already operating at 90 percent capacity on Monday, and was expected to be fully operational on Tuesday. Nobody was killed, which officials credit partly to early-warning systems that gave people time to find cover.
The reaction: This video is "terrifying," says Liz Goodwin at Yahoo!. With "such a powerful weather event moving through a densely populated city," it's hard to believe everyone survived. "Glass was blowing everywhere. The ceiling was falling," says witness Dianna Merrill, describing the scene to the Associated Press. "The glass was hitting us in the face. Hail and rain were coming in. It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying. It was horrible." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- How collaborative innovation led to the experimental serum for Ebola
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- 10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week