BRIDGETON, Mo. – Twelve years have passed since an EF-4 tornado slammed the St. Louis area, remembered by many locally as the Good Friday tornado.

On April 22, 2011, one of the most powerful twisters in recent St. Louis area history traveled 22 miles at speeds up to 160 mph. It caused more than $25 million in damages to several north county municipalities, including parts of Berkeley, Bridgeton and Maryland Heights.

Five people were injured from tornado impacts, but fortunately no one died from the intense storm system.

According to the National Weather Service, around 250 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed, while around 140 buildings suffered large or total losses.

The Good Friday Tornado busted numerous windows and blew off a large section of its roof. A report released by NOAA and the National Weather Service many years ago raised serious questions about what happened at the airport in the moments before the storm.

Following the tornado, investigators from NOAA and the National Weather Service conducted an assessment of the events of that evening coming to some startling conclusions. Some assessments suggest that poor planning, poor execution and communications shortfalls could easily have cost hundreds of lives at the airport.

The report states, ‘preparedness activities and action plan procedures for the Lambert St. Louis International Airport were minimal and in-effective for this event.’ The report goes on to say the airport authorities, along with the airlines, failed to give any warning to passengers about the imminent threat of the tornado.

It turns out the airport operations center was completely unaware there was a tornado heading straight for the airport, even thought the National Weather Service warned of a confirmed, damaging tornado moving in that direction 34 minutes before it arrived.

Since then, Lambert Airport has entered a growing partnership with the National Weather Service that has Lambert very close to becoming a “Storm Ready” International Airport in the United States.

The St. Louis area has not seen an EF-4 tornado since Good Friday in 2011. The twister stemmed from an outbreak of high tornado activity in the spring of 2011.