ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Do you remember where you were 13 years ago today? Perhaps hunkered down in your basement. This is the anniversary of the day a historic hailstorm hit the area.
Florissant Police Chief Tim Lowery remembers April 10, 2001 like it was yesterday. “It was probably one of the worst storms I`ve ever seen. With overall damage and amount of hail that hit North County and Florissant.”
The storm pummeled almost every community along I-70 from Kansas City to Granite City; producing nine tornadoes along the way. The storm is best known for it`s monster hail. Golf ball to baseball sized hail, propelled at times by winds in excess of 70 mph, shredded everything in the storms path. The damage… was epic.
“It was very prolific at producing golf ball and baseball sized hail and not only did it produce a lot of this hail. But, it produced it over populated areas along I-70.” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Gary Schmocker.
More than 120,000 homes, 65,000 cars and 8,000 commercial buildings all reported damage. At Lambert Airport 24 commercial and military aircraft were smashed. So were hundreds of cars at the Ford assembly plant in Hazelwood.
Insured losses from the storm reached $1.5 billion. This makes it the most costly hail storm in US history.