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Windy weather affecting outdoor activities in the city

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ST. LOUIS – The recent warm weather has meant crowded restaurant patios. But Thursday’s gusty winds have caused some to choose seats indoors.

At the Boathouse in Forest Park, some of the lunch crowd still opted for outside seating despite the blustery conditions.

“We have to take the umbrellas down. Because people will try to put them up and they become missiles,” said Boathouse Executive Chef Jack Mac Murray. “Just weighing things down. But the previous winter, people want to sit outside if it’s windy or not.”

This is one several high wind events in recent months, but the first with spring flowers and blooms. At the Missouri Botanical Garden, the magnolia and cherry trees have been putting on a show. But the winds caused petals to rain down on visitors. With highs winds today and again over the weekend, some flowers may lose their petals, but the bigger concern is for more serious tree damage.

“Any time we have these strong winds we’re always concerned about damage to trees, limbs breaking and trees toppling. There aren’t that many leaves that have grown out yet,” said Chip Tynan, horticulturist with the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Tynan said that one bit of relief in these gusty winds is that the soil has had time to dry out some and that means concerns about entire trees toppling is low. He also reminds anyone that has already put house plants outside to protect those from the wind or even bring them back inside.

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