Crews start cleanup efforts in St. Louis County after Thursday storms


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – High heat and humidity led to some strong storms Thursday afternoon, which left behind another round of damage from both wind and lightning.

Lightning struck a home in Chesterfield and luckily for the homeowners, a construction crew was in the right place at the right time.

It was a normal working day for one Sheild Xteriors crew of five. They were on a construction project in Chesterfield as the skies darkened.

“The storm came in and a lightning strike hit across the street and the guys noticed it was on fire so they rushed out there. And they didn’t know if there was anybody inside the house or not so they thought maybe they’d be saving a life if they could. Ran over there, doused the fire out. Made sure the house didn’t burn down,” said Isaac Ovchinikov, owner of Shield Xteriors.

Responding fire crews were grateful for the quick response.

“Yeah, I talked to the fire chief. I got a phone call from him and he told me had it not been for their actions the whole place would have been burned down,” Ovchinikov said.

“I mean honestly the guys didn’t even want any spectacle out of it. They probably wouldn’t have told anybody if the fire chief hadn’t called me and told me so they just wanted to do their part. Do the right thing.”

Meanwhile, in Brentwood, crews were working to clear a massive tree that fell across two front yards off of White Avenue.

Across the street at Tilles Park crews began cleanup this morning where about 7 to 10 trees and other large branches fell. This was the second round of damage here in just two weeks.

St. Louis County Parks have seen more than double the amount of typical wind damage events this spring and summer.

“We normally respond to two or three significant storm events…this is our sixth one since the spring storm season,” said Jason Pratte, Forestry Supervisor at St. Louis County Parks.

One reason for all the tree damage is the high moisture content in the soil.

“Trees are made to go in the wind and sway in the wind. But when we get it so often and a lot of rain, trees do become to fail at times,” Pratte said.

Thankfully, crews finished up Friday’s work before another storm bringing more heavy rain and some small hail hit.

Cleanup at Tilles park is expected to be done by next Wednesday.

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