Microburst causes significant damage to Chesterfield businesses

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) - Strong storms once again hit areas in both Missouri and Illinois Thursday.  Severe storms produced large hail, flooding rains, and significant wind damage. One of the hardest hit areas was the Chesterfield valley.

Business owners suspected a tornado had roared through the area because  of the narrow path of damage just east of Spirit of St. Louis Airport. But a National Weather Service survey crew determined that the storm damage has actually been done by a microburst, or a powerful downdraft or column of sinking air from a thunderstorm, that hit at around 7:15pm.  In this case, winds of 100 miles per hour were created.  It was enough to pick up an air conditioning unit from a roof and send it flying about 400 feet across the street, where it crashed into the windshield of a parked car.

On Friday, business owners and utility crews were busy cleaning up and making repairs along Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard. Part of the flat roof of a strip building housing several businesses flew across the street. The back wall of a flooring business collapsed because of the powerful storm. Limbs of trees looked like they were chopped off. Other tree limbs caught insulation that was flying through the air.

The owner of Fox-Brands Flooring estimated the damage to his office display and materials to be about $40,000. That is not counting the damage done to the building and other businesses.

Insurance adjusters are on the scene and will be next week filing claims for clients.   No one was physically hurt during Thursday night's storm.

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