Storm rolls through Ferguson just as normalcy was returning

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FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – Storms knocked out power to about 6,000 St. Louis area customers Wednesday night.

It also plowed through Ferguson and Jennings right where things were just starting to return to normal after the Ferguson police shooting death of Michael Brown.

The worst of it was on Kinamore Drive: part of a snapped tree impaled the roof.

The Buzz Westfall Plaza, what had been the police command center for the Ferguson unrest the past 2 weeks, is right across the street from the storm damage, less than a block away.

Police dismantled the command center about earlier in the day.

“The command center is now fully dismantled in the Buzz Westfall Plaza,” Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol announced at a news conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Orsino Townsend, who lives on Lucas & Hunt across the street from the plaza reveling in being able to easily get groceries again at what had been the command center.

He just unloaded his groceries and darted into his house in the pouring rain.

“I had just gotten into the house.  I wasn’t in the house no more than 5 minutes before crack.  Bam!

He and firefighters believe lightning struck his tree dropping much of it onto his car.

A rooftop down the street got hit by lightning, too, firefighters said.

A big limb went through the roof around the corner.

All that commotion came in the wake of what Townsend had been hearing through his door as he watched on TV in days just passed.

“I’m hearing the boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, I’m watching it on TV.  It was a surreal moment.  It was like an after effect,” he said.  “I hope that this is the last incident for this area.  I think we’ve had enough.  It’s about time.”

Capt. Johnson said trust was being rebuilt to weather storms ahead, be they the work of nature or man.

“None of us can stop. All of the groups that have come forward -- the media have taken a big role in this.  You have to continue to do that.  You have to continue to be there.  This can’t go deaf anymore,” Johnson said.

There were no injuries.  The neighborhood was without power through the night.

As for the protest zone on West Florissant all quiet. The Missouri Highway Patrol and St. Louis County Police, not the Ferguson Police will continue patrolling that part of Ferguson, indefinitely.

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