ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals and Cubs are always a memorable match-up, but 15 years ago today, there was another memorable game; not because of the action on the field, but because of Mother Nature.
In July 2006, we were in the middle of a heatwave when a strong complex of storms to the northeast made a turn for St. Louis, moving over Busch Stadium during a game.
“I wasn’t really paying attention to the weather,” said Mary Lewis, who attended the game in 2006. “And all of a sudden, I looked over and it was before Ballpark Village was there. There was just a big blank spot over there. And I saw how black it was to the north. And I said to my husband, ‘That does not look good.’ And he said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, it’s traveling east.’ And then the storm hit.”
Fans at Busch Stadium had to run for cover as the winds picked up and video from the storm shows one person being knocked down by a trashcan.
“I remember seeing people trying to walk out and getting, you know, almost knocked over. You know, everything was just going sideways,” Lewis said.
The derecho started in northeastern Iowa. It moved through central Illinois and then made that turn toward the southwest, leaving behind a widespread path of wind damage.
“We had widespread 60 to 80 mile-an-hour wind gusts. So, widespread damaging wind gusts and, because of the direction, a lot of the trees weren’t used to the wind blowing from the northeast. Especially anything over 10 to 20 miles an hour, let alone 60 to 80. So that put a lot more stress on trees, more tree damage, which led to power outages as a result,” said Jayson Gosselin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
After the storm, the heatwave continued.
“We had a half million people without power after that and heat index was 110 to 115 on (July 20), so that was a big deal. And the power outages lasted 7 to 10 days for some areas,” Gosselin said.
This homestand, we don’t have the threat of severe weather and temperatures aren’t too bad either.
“Gorgeous. A beautiful day for a baseball game,” said Dana Rees, a Cardinals fan.
“Weather is great. We’re used to it, we’re from the Midwest. A little humidity, great people though. Friendliest people I’ve ever seen. Love St. Louis. Weather’s nice. Come out and enjoy the game,” said Tim McFarland, a baseball fan from Chicago.
Fans were out enjoying the gorgeous weather and excitedly awaiting the first pitch.